Barack Obama completely dominated Mitt Romney during the third presidential debate and came out as the clear winner. Obama spoke with confidence and knowledge. Romney. on the other hand, sounded unsure and nervous and fell back on old, tired stump snippets far too often.
In a calculated strategic move, Romney disregarded all of his ‘neocon’ policy positions he has been repeating over the past several years and replaced them with Obama’s. In fact, the only criticism he uttered all evening about Obama’s foreign policy, besides the tired and ridiculous ’didn’t meet with Israel’ and ‘apology tour’ BS was that he would have implemented Obama’s Iran policy sooner. An accurate headline about the evening would be “Mitt Romney endoses Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy Across the Board”.
Romney also, in front of the entire American public, reversed his policy on the timed withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. He has spent the past year talking about Obama’s failed policy of announcing a withdrawal date. He has been recorded talking about this over 100 times on camera. All of that suddenly changed last night. Now he is whole-heartedly FOR what he had been completely AGAINST the day before – and without a single word of explanation why. Another example of ‘the truth absolutely doesn’t matter – the only thing that matters is what you say to the crowd in front of you’.
On the positive side for Romney, he did articulate that we need to get at the core of islamic extremism. This is one of those points that makes Obama supporters scratch their heads and wonder why Obama cannot say something so simple, obvious and important.
On a negative note for Romney, Obama humiliated him on his ‘how many boats we have in the navy’ point. This is one of those right-wing talking points that only the truly dumb could embrace and repeat. When Obama said ‘ we also don’t have as many bayonets and horses either’, his intellectually challenged talking point crumbled.
Lost Obama Opportunities
I completely believe that if Obama loses this election, it will be because of 1) his inability or reluctance to acknowledge and correct the right-wings fabrications, and 2) his failure to use all of the ammunition at his disposal. Both of these failures I would lay directly at the feet of his advisor David Axelrod. When you hear David mumble and stumble through the Sunday morning talk shows, it is not difficult to see the weak link in the President’s communications strategy,
In the first debate, under the advice of Axelrod, Obama stood there and allowed Mitt Romney to say whatever he wanted while he smiled and remained ‘likable’. As we have seen in the polls, this was probably the stupidest piece of advice ever given to a presidential candidate in history. As we saw in the second debate, Obama fixed some of the damage done in the first, but not all of it. Obama needs to get over his reluctance to combat these falsehoods – otherwise the majority of people will believe them.
Missed Opportunity #1 – Mitt Romney – “We should kick the can down the road and hope for the best” – why oh why did Obama not mention this quote from the 47% tape? I can think of 1000 reasons why he should have. I can also think of 1000 opportunities he had to bring it up. What advisor in their right mind would ignore this?
Missed Opportunity #2 – Mitt Romney insulted the British, Polish and Palestinians in a disastrous overseas trip during the summer. Did the Obama campaign forget about this? Do they not remember this was the talk of the nation for over a week? Did they no think this was relavent?
Missed Opportunity #3 – Mitt Romney has secret bank accounts in foreign countries. Also, completely baffled why this would not be mentioned. Some of the most effective ads of the entire campaign mentioned this. Again, huge opportunity and silence.
Missed Opportunity #4 – Mitt’s Tax Returns – Dear Obama campaign -> this raises HUGE red flags for most of the public. Why not mention this? You don’t have to dwell on this, just ask him the question – “what are you hiding”.
In conclusion, this was a good debate performance for Obama. Romney looked out of his depth and his strategy was naked and not effective. However, Obama’s missed opportunities is going to prevent this from being a knock-out punch. Why the campaign refuses to use some of the most potent tools at their disposal defies logic.