It will be easier to get through the next 2 weeks after last night’s presidential debate. The president was forceful, convincing and Romney was in an “etch a sketch” mode. This guy has real contempt for the voters. Does he think that we don’t remember he was taking very different positions a short time ago? We will soon find out if the voters have Romnesia and vote for someone who has no core beliefs and values.
If there is any consistency in Romney’s positions, it's his refusal to accept that the world has changed. One of Obama’s best lines was:
"You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines."
Obama also reminded Romney that the Cold War's been over for 20 years:
But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.
See full transcript.
Robert Reich had ( from my point of view) one of the best assessments of the debate:
I thought the third and last presidential debate was a clear win for the president. He displayed the authority of the nation's Commander-in-Chief -- calm, dignified, and confident. He was assertive without being shrill, clear without being condescending. He explained to a clueless Mitt Romney the way the world actually works.
Romney seemed out of his depth. His arguments were more a series of bromides than positions -- "we have to make sure arms don't get into the wrong hands," "we want a peaceful planet," "we need to stand by our principles," "we need strong allies," "we need a comprehensive strategy to move the world away from terrorism."
This has been Romney's problem all along, of course, but in the first debate he managed to disguise his vacuousness with a surprisingly combative, well-rehearsed performance. By the second debate, the disguise was wearing thin.
In tonight's debate, Romney seemed to wither -- and wander. He often had difficulty distinguishing his approach from the President's, except to say, repeatedly, "America needs strong leadership."
[Romney]was so woefully over matched in last night's foreign policy debate that he couldn't even get his geography straight. At one point, he said that "Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea." Wow, that's quite a revelation, given the fact that Iran has its own route to the sea, courtesy of its own 1000-mile coastline.
But President Obama didn't rout Romney merely because the challenger can't read a map. Obama easily won the debate for four reasons: He called out Romney for lying, he educated Romney on basics of national defense, he listed Romney's long string of foreign policy flip flops, and he enjoyed the many moments when Romney endorsed administration policies.
But will the voters get it? Despite the president’s strong performance, I’m still scared and still nervously checking fivethirtyeight.com. Nate Silver is still predicting an Obama victory and as of today is giving the President a 70.3% chance of winning. I’d be in really bad shape if it weren’t for fivethirtyeight.com
Karen Bojar blogs about retirement life, feminist activism, grassroots politics and gardening at http://www.the-next-stage.com/
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