2012 Presidential Debate – Foreign Affairs
Tonight was the final debate in the 2012 Presidential Election between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The debate was held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL and was moderated by Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation on CBS.
The questions throughout the evening were meant to be centered on Foreign Policy, and how both men would handle issues abroad. However, the debate pivoted early and often to domestic policy issues. Many believed (rightly so) that the major issues in the campaign are related to the US economy, jobs, the federal debt and other national issues. With that assumption, both men repeatedly turned the focus to American soil rather than foreign soil.
The questions of the debate were mostly right in line with the issues of the day: Israel, Libya, Afghanistan, Iran and many other areas of interest. Romney made a clear move to the center while Obama repeatedly attacked Romney’s positions and plans, some of which have shifted in the weeks leading up to Election Day here in America.
The consensus after the debate was that Obama won the debate handily. However, the political pundit class was quick to say that Romney was able to exhibit the characteristics of a Commander-in-Chief. Whether or not that is true obviously remains to be seen (or imagined). Romney was successful in one key area: pivoting the conversation surround Obama’s attacks back to his avoidance of discussing his own agenda and his own record, other than the killing of Osama bin Laden (naturally – consider the football spiked).
So, at the end of the final debate, the question is whether or not the President’s performance will be enough to secure an election day victory and a second term in the White House. The Romney campaign had been surging, moving ahead in national polls by 1-2 points over the past few days while swing state polling showed the gap closing in key states like Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Virginia. If Obama can slow the momentum of Romney’s campaign, then he will likely win re-election. If not, the race will continue to be as close as the 2000 election between Bush-Gore.
As a biased observer (I’ve already voted thanks to Tennessee’s early voting option), I believe Romney is the better option for America. I’m not a single issue voter by any stretch, but with 47 million Americans on food stamps, 23 million unemployed, federal debts of $16 trillion, and serious uncertainty among businesses in America, I believe Romney is more suited to lead an American recovery than President Obama.
The reasoning behind this position is simple: President Obama had two years of filibuster-proof legislative authority due to Democratic-Party-control of the House and Senate, yet the economy has grown only marginally. The dollar is not gaining against other currencies (possibly because of looking global financial uncertainty). Jobs aren’t growing quickly enough to match rising population demands. Historically, both parties have been guilty of living beyond its means. But I believe Romney to be the more effective leader when given the choice between the two. Additionally, I cannot bring myself to imagine any instance where Joe Biden takes the reigns of America.
With that in mind, I cast my vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket. As we near election day, I hope you will do yourself the favor of voting if for no other reason than that a few hundred years ago, a group of men got together and decided it was better to rule ourselves than be ruled by a foreign power. It has been the single greatest test of democracy in history, and all things equal, it has been successful. I simply believe we can do better.