Monday night, as we all know, was the last of the three presidential debates. This was the debate that was to focus on foreign policy issues. So what were my opinions of the debate, who won, and what were some of the important topics brought up?
First off, Romney was definitely the winner of this debate. There were moments when he didn’t seem as ‘on fire’ as others, but seeing the candidates side by side and listening to their answers, one thing was clear; Mitt Romney was definitely the more presidential of the two. He kept Obama on the hot seat most of the debate, though I felt he did miss some great opportunities to highlight Obama’s mishandling of the Benghazi attack. During most of the debate, Obama seemed to be giving Romney what most in the twitter-verse were calling “The Death Stare.” I couldn’t tell if he was trying to listen really, really intently, or if he was just thinking “if this table wasn’t so wide, I would try to punch this guy.”
The most memorable and best Romney moment of the night had to be when he brought up the Obama ‘apology tour,’ accusing the President of making the rounds in the middle east and apologizing for America. He seemed to be on the attack most of the night, at least more than he had in previous debates. At one point, Romney was talking and Obama tried interrupting, Romney calmly turned to him and said “I’m still speaking.” It was great.
In this third and final debate, I didn’t feel like Obama was particularly strong. He definitely seemed to be in attack mode throughout, constantly criticizing Romney’s stance on issues, or on statements made in the past. Other than a few times, he didn’t seem to stutter as much as usual, but I honestly didn’t see the Obama of the 2nd debate. He seemed to return to the same talking points over and over again. In fact, there were a few talking points that he repeated three or four times during the debate–literally word for word. He came across pretty arrogant when speaking to Romney, especially when he was blasting him about the Navy and how we don’t use bayonets and horses as much in war anymore.
“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. And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships. It’s — it’s what are our capabilities.”
I decided to fact check this statement this morning. When it comes to the bayonets remark I found it interesting to learn that bayonet and knife combat training is on the rise, meaning it is something that is and will be used in the future of war. Horse use is also on the rise in the military and has always been used for ceremonial events such as soldiers’ funerals. I also discovered that, technically, we don’t use battle ships anymore. The last battle ship in active duty was the USS Missouri, which was decommissioned in 1992. I have read tweets from Obama supporters saying he was dumbing things down for Romney, but the way he made his points only came across as arrogance. Overall, I would say Obama was aggressive and constantly on the attack against Romney. He did have a little more composure than he did in the 2nd debate, but at times you could tell that he was mad.
As I mentioned, I felt like Romney should have capitalized on the Benghazi attacks and the way the current administration handled it. This was one point that I think would have put Romney over the top, and would have brought a lot of undecided voters to his camp. He did bring it up a little bit in the last debate, but this was the one to drive that home. I think this cost him a little bit, and was the most important point to bring to undecided voters attentions.
I tried to pay special attention to the moderator this time. Bob Schieffer was without a doubt the best moderator of the three debates. He seemed to stay out of the conversation except to move it along, unlike Candy Crowley. I don’t know much about him except that he hosts ‘Face the Nation’ on CBS. But even if he is partisan to the Democrats, like most of the MSM, he did a good job of hiding that fact. Their were a couple of gaffes last night, or Biden-isms as my friends and I like to call them. The best gaffe however was from Bob Schieffer when he mistakenly called Osama Bin Laden, Obama’s Bin Laden. It took a second for it to sink in and we had a good laugh at our debate party.
Finally, Romney’s closing statement seemed kind of dull to me. It wasn’t bad, but his closing statement from last week’s debate was definitely the better of the two. Obama’s, on the other hand, was the same as always, basically, “it’s still Bush’s fault and Romney is a liar.” I read an article from TheBlaze on Monday that kind of put things into perspective. Governor Chris Christie said “If Obama can’t change Washington from the inside, what the hell is he doing asking for another four years?”