The Third Debate

My take...late, but not never!

Well, it was the final debate of the 2012 presidential race. And of course the sequitur is, who won? Pundits and debate watchers, again, favored Obama. Once more, I agree, but for me the “win” was only based on the general tone, feel and intensity of the debate during which the president sounded even more aggressive and pertinacious. Unfortunately, he also demonstrated moments of weakness, petulance, sarcasm, arrogance and condescension. And in that regard, Obama got the short end of the stick. Romney was more presidential and in a more composed, in control, albeit in passive and subdued demeanor compared to the first debate. I also believe Romney’s approach last night was a strategy. Voters know that Romney already has the knowledge, experience and skills to be president (compared to Obama, then and ....now!) but they want to know if he has the disposition to be the commander-in-chief. Romney passed that test in last night’s debate, though it already started burgeoning in the first two.

Obama may have snatched himself an important win (or wins including the second debate) but I doubt the current trajectory of the race - in which the momentum is with Romney based on most polls - will change.
Another area in which Romney came out on top was in the fact checking phase of the debate. The two main ones where the most tension was felt were, first, the postwar forces in Iraq which Obama said he was against keeping any, and Romney claiming that both he and the president supported; and second, was the auto bailout in which Obama accused Romney of wanting to allow the industry to go bankrupt. Well, Romney was right in both claims and Obama was wrong according to the fact checkers. This is an example of an indifferent and ill-informed president, which also reflect on his weak and failed leadership.

Moreover, Obama’s rhetoric earned him points but he was still weak in the overall substance of the debate. Ironically, the foreign policy focus of the debate, should have been in his favor - well theoretically. But this is a president who has bragged and dwelled solely on the killing of Osama as his initiation, medal and core qualification for being president. Americans generally agree that anyone (actually, even I, or Josh, my neighbor’s twelve year old son), given the same authority, would have made the call, yet Obama still touts and flaunts it as if he deserves all the credit. In fact, he, in jest, mentioned it in his Al Smith dinner speech recently in which he said, directed at Romney who also attended, that killing Osama was a “debate alert”.

Perhaps one of the bigger ironies in this race, understood only by the more keen observers of Obama’s policies, is that Obama "borrowed" his ideas from Romney’s - at least for his (Obama’s) touted achievements as president.

First, Obama’s approach and solution in the auto bailout was exactly what Romney recommended in his 2008 op-ed in the NY Times where Romney said to let the auto companies go through managed bankruptcy then assisted by Federal guarantees. It's essentially what Obama did.  Second, Obamacare is fundamentally based on “Romneycare” - a similar health care program (state level) Romney implemented in Massachusetts when he was governor. In fact, some of the same people who drew up Romney’s health care plan were hired by Obama to help with Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act).

What does that say about the President? Well, the same thing he confessed about, that as president he was still "in training" - still learning. That’s not surprising with someone who became president without any executive experience and, as GOP supporters have said, who never ran anything, not even a country store. And so Obama’s inexperience has clearly been demonstrated in his first term becoming an ineffective leader presiding over the worst economy since the Great Depression, accumulating more debt in four years than all other previous presidents combined!!

Lastly, Obama does not even have a plan for the next four years - actually, until several hours ago!!   His campaign has just released a 20-page plan (versus Romney’s 120-page plan that has been out for months).  It's a brochure, a pamphlet!  There are two more weeks left before the election and Obama has just released a 20-page brochure outlining his plan for the next four years? Come On!  That’s like handing in a term paper written two days before the due date - rough, rambling, unproofed and plagiarized (re: copying Romney's ideas above). And we all know what the grade is for such work - an F which coincidently is the letter for Failure and Forward both associated with Obama and his campaign.

Therefore, Romney may have "lost" the third battle (debate) but is still winning the war. And as Mrs. Romney said, if Romney wins, America wins; if he loses, America loses.

And that’s the truth!

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