Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Debate Thoughts by Machtyn

The final debate has just completed and I think Romney has built upon his lead in every one. He was able to control the tempo and tenor of every debate. The first was a fluke for Obama, but it was the game changer. Romney was able to control that debate like no other. In the second debate, Romney attacked and went hard. He caught Obama on his heels and kept up the pressure. Finally, Obama tried to attack Romney and drag him low, but Romney would have none of it. Obama's attacks failed and made him look little, while Romney looked Presidential. As Charles Krauthammer stated after the debate, "Romney went large. Obama went very, very small – shockingly small."

Romney will win the Presidency. In my opinion, Romney came across just as knowledgeable and more capable to handle the foreign policies of the nation than Obama. This debate did not move the needle for the partisans, but in the following days the independents will move. Dick Morris has been a pretty good score keeper of the debates. He has Romney winning on points. A PPP poll post-debate had the following question for Independents:
16 point negative swing against Obama and a 12 point positive swing for Romney. In other words, Romney won this thing.

But this final debate was not the clincher I would have liked it to be. Watching Luntz's focus group confirms that to me. They felt that Romney was strong on the economy, but Obama was strong on foreign policy. However, most seem like they will vote for Romney as this election is about the economy. They understand a strong economy is a strong America and that will pay the military bill to create a strong military.

Speaking of that focus group, if it is representative of the nation's understanding of military tech, power, threat vectors, and needs, I fear for our country. Yes, we can do more with less, but we have more naval battle fronts than before and need as many or more ships than before. According to our generals, we are insufficient in our naval readiness. Russia and China CAN defeat us in a submarine battle, they've moved ships into our waters without us knowing until after the fact.

President Obama, as Karl Rove stated, hates Romney. He can't hide it. He was condescending, belittling, and pompous. Particularly with his line about horses and bayonets, this was a very bad line for a President. It is expected from a professor, not a President. The funny thing is that the marines still use bayonets and our Special Forces still uses horses.

There were three points where Obama will get caught in the fact-checking trap after the debate. Most of them were how Obama misunderstood Romney's words. Noelle mentioned to me that Obama does not understand Romney because he watches MSNBC, reads Huffington Post, etc, and doesn't actually go to primary sources for his information. I guess when you hate a guy so much, reading his words is torture. I'll leave it to others to comment on those three points.

I, like many of you, are probably very disappointed that Romney failed to pounce on a number of softball attacks that Obama leveled at him. Romney failed to attack on Libya, failed to talk about Israel at some key points (but he brought up Israel in other topics), and failed to accurately portray the mess in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and the whole of the Middle East. But in this Romney was PERFECT. He set the tempo and tenor of the debate. He appeared Presidential while the President looked little. He very likely won over the women voters who might have turned away from a bickering debate. (Mitt's numbers with women went down over the past week.) And, fortunately, the media is finally starting to wake up and properly report these failures, such as what happened in Benghazi. Mitt Romney didn't have to go there.

Finally, my favorite point of the night, which will likely be missed by most people, in Obama's closing statement he attacked Mitt Romney for having the wrong ideas on foreign policy. The problem with that is the entire debate was how Romney and Obama had the SAME ideas about foreign policy. So, is Obama saying that his own foreign policy is wrong?

p.s. If you have the means, let's help push Romney over the finish line. Donate if you can.


Paul said...

Machtyn, kudos for an excellent article. I think you hit it on the head when you said that Obama does not understand Romney. But I think that Obama's first debate performance was not a fluke as much as it was a predictable tactical error on his part. The error was due to Obama's predictable under-estimation of his hated opponent. I think that Obama, like many deranged leftists, actually had arrived at the point of full belief of their own distortions. They had spent some quarter-million bucks misrepresenting Romney, and they thereby believed their own mis-information. Obama thought that that he could prevail merely by showing up.

Paul said...

Sorry, that was meant to read "some quarter-billion bucks."