Debate 4. Foreign policy,
Right off the bat let me say I think this debate will probably matter the least. Its a wonk debate. Foreign policy just doesn't move the needle that much. It all comes down to the economy and Joe Six pack isn't up on the minute details of world affairs. Heck, most people couldn't even find the places mentioned if you gave them a map and 10 minutes.
But here we go.
Right out of the gate I think Romney scored well on Libya. He showed how the president was showing weakness to terrorists and he scored for calling the president out for going on the apology tour. The hit on Obama looking for separation and ignoring Israel looked bad for the president as well. Over all though, I think most of the middle east foreign policy was a push. I don't think Romney really showed a huge policy difference or at least enough to notice.
Some may say Obama won on the quick hits but I sort of thought Obama really look petty on some of the attacks, his "Horses and bayonets" and his "You invested in foreign oil companies" and "The 80s called they want their policies back" attacks just looked small to me. Not that they weren't good zingers but they were just not presidential. Not only that, I am not sure Obama wants to downplay the 80s that much. As I recall the US did pretty well with foreign policy in the 80s. But either way you look at it it just looked petty. I think Romneys counter of "Attacks on me aren't a plan to move our country forward" sort of shut him down. Obama tried to attack and interrupt a few other times but I think Romney handled it well.
The China question I think helped Romney. His talking about a possible trade war hit big and Obama didn't really counter with anything on China.
Romney did good at that a lot. He would hit multiple points, He would tell several facts and plans to Obamas few points or facts. Nothing huge but it made Romney look knowledgeable on the issues and like he had a bigger plan compared to little or no plan for Obama. It was an area I thought Obama would do better on then he did. Obama never really mentioned South America, changes or much of a plan on anything except he kept trying to go back to hiring more teachers, building roads and bridges (the same infrastructure argument used by Democrats for the last 50 years). I don't think it sold. I think Romney was better at bringing it back to how our foreign policy depends on our country being economically strong at home. A weakness for Obama with our economy in the tank.
Kudos to the moderator. Good questions. both sides seemed to be able to make their points and I saw no clear bias. Way better then last time.
To wrap it up. My first debate rundown I thought Romney won. Clearly. The second I thought was about a draw. This one I think if you only count zingers I think Obama won. If you look at policy I think Romney won. Clearly. Not as big as the first debate but probably a win level between the first and second debate. And really Romney just looked much more knowledgeable and presidential. Romney spoke better (A shock compared to the formerly smooth but now halting Obama) and Romney didn't sound self possessed, I heard Obama said "I" and "ME" so much that I noticed it. Romney is supposed to be the evil rich guy. He just didn't come across that way and I think it showed.
I thought Obama needed to really hit it strong on all sides (policy, points and presentation) to change the momentum. He didn't. His "small ball" attack may have won him the battle but cost him the war. Romney pushed the economy, he pushed a plan, he smiled, stayed calm and presidential, he said he would be bipartisan, he stayed on message. Those were issues that did and will win for Mitt in the end.
The mo will stay with Mitt. Short of a new factor coming into play, I think its over. Romney wins. Big.