Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Debate the third, quick reactions.

After having listened:

1. Not a lot of real estate between the two on foreign policy. More areas of agreement than disagreement.

2. Like Romney’s idea of indicting Li’l Ahmie. Would the court allow Official Iranian Salute Guy to stand behind Ahmi in the dock as he is testifying. Would pay some serious cabbage to see that trial.

3. The President came off badly in his response to Romney’s contention that the Navy is at the lowest level since 1916. What exactly was his point in comparing this to complaining about bayonets buggies and horses? Is he trying to say we don’t need ships? The condescending retort about aircraft carriers and subs was cringe worthy.

4. Romney did not elect to press the Libya timeline troubles, and in general, chose not to attack and prod so much as he had in the second debate.

5. At one point Obama bordered on Bidenesque proportions of interrupting almost every other word of a response of Romney’s.

6. Predictable though it was, the veer into discussion of the economy still seemed awfully forced by both.

7. The discussion of China was too quick, and did not delve into the cyber realm. Both men are letting the ChiComs off too easy. Obama was effective in pointing out the trade cases brought against them.

8. Ditto our erstwhile friends the Paks. Although Romney talked a good talk, saying he would tie continued aid to clear and measurable conditions, I don’t think either man will turn the spigot off. The threat of nukes falling into the hands of Haqqanis is too great.

9. The trade of barbs re Russia was won by Romney, even if Obama had the better laugh line (the 80s called and they want their foreign policy back).

10. The Middle East dominated. Would have liked to hear more about Africa and China.

After having watched most of it:

11. Romney’s demeanor was a winner, especially when being prodded. He didn’t rise to the bait.

12. Obama behaved like a candidate that believes he is the underdog. At the same time, he has shown, in the last two debates, passion. Something he had to do in order to make up for the lifeless first round.

Overall impression:

 This one was a draw. There were not very many substantive differences between the two. Both seem aware of the complexities of foreign policy. Because of that, I might give a field goal edge to Romney due to the demeanor. I think he made a choice to play it conservatively in this debate. Given that he does not know as much about present foreign policy as does the present President (who would, given that he is actually in the thick of it) he managed to hold his own.

If his goal was to look like a plausible candidate to the undecided voter, he did that, while looking the more presidential of the two. Still, damn close. I’m more inclined to score it a tie.

As regard the Lions Bears game. I made the wise choice. The debate was infinitely less frustrating than was the Lions effort in Chicago. I caught the last quarter and a half. Gawd. That was more than enough.

The whole debate is here: