Barack Obama has made a strong start to the final presidential debate at Boca Raton, Fla., and is already winning this foreign-policy debate. Where the one man’s policies start and the other man’s policies end is anyone’s guess. What we do know so far is that both Romney and Obama care a lot about women and democracy … all over the world. I don’t.
Romney is being smart in as much as he is throwing Obama off-scent and directing the debate away from foreign policy to the economy. Romney’s foreign policy, after all, offers nothing new.
UPDATE: FROM MY DEBATE NOTEPAD (transcripts are here):
What was Obama doing? Winning.
Romney took the place Barack Obama had occupied 2 weeks back: that of loser.
While Obama stutters each time he attempts to conceptualize about economic issues, Romney does a similar thing when trying to differentiate himself from the president on foreign policy.
The degree of convergence between the candidates? Romney, like Obama, loves drone action, loves nation building across the globe, bitch slapping China, helping da Afghan women, making foreign aid conditional (rather than eliminating it); approves of state-assistance following bankruptcy procedures and state investment in R & D.
Obama had a nice line (upon which I’ve riffed a bit): “No reason why Americans should die, if Afghans can do their own dying.” Romney was, obviously, a little reluctant. If Americans are not dying in defense of borders not their own—someone must be leading from behind. (All presidents should, in my opinion, lead from behind, unless they are taking the lead on how not to lead very much at all.)
Oh, and with heels, Michelle Obama is as tall as Mitt Romney. On the sartorial front: Mrs. Obama wore a cute dress; so did Ann Romney. (I’m glad Ann took off the red garments. While I love a deep burgundy, red is such an ugly color that it colors everyone who wears it ugly.)