Debate #4 Wrap Up: You sunk my battleship!
If there was one thing that both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney seemed to agree on last night, it’s that Barack Obama’s foreign policy has been great. In the final debate of the 2012 election, Mitt Romney held his ammunition, probably because he figured anyone who is still undecided is A. not watching a foreign policy debate and B. is legally brain dead, thus their money grubbing relatives will be filling out their absentee ballot, thus they’re going to vote for him anyway because they want those Estate Tax rate cuts.
So what was going on it Mitt Romney’s head last night? He seemed a little distant – he was probably imagining himself riding his horse Rafalca bare-chested with his lover and life parter
Ann Romney Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Romney sure strove to portray himself as friendly to Israel, as the Jewish state has now become the Republican cudgel of choice against Democrats. Indeed, I yearn for the day when the Israeli-Palestinian crisis has come to an end so we can focus on REALLY important foreign policy talking points, like how Barack Obama is soft of the Marshall Islands and their ruinous flower tariffs! Kiribati has a strong ally in Mitt Romney. All in all, this was Romney’s weakest night, although he does get some points I guess for controlling himself and not yelling at the moderator. Bob Scheifer is a man and not some uppity woman, after all.
Monday was indeed Obama’s night though. He was zinging Mitt left and right, and seemed at points to just smack around Romney for the fun of it. First, Obama zinged Romney when he criticized the former Governor for saying that Russia was our greatest strategic threat, telling Romney that the 1980’s “want their foreign policy back“, a good if somewhat hypocritical line because as a joke it was so damn 80s. I mean, like, gag me with a spoon, right? The highlight of last night’s zings though came when Obama pushed back at Romney’s assertion that the U.S. is weaker because we have fewer Naval battleships than we did in 1917, with the president retorting “we also have fewer horses and bayonets“. The conservative press has suggested this line, a hit on Twitter, will backfire, as our nation’s lack of war horses, not to mention war elephants has surely left us vulnerable to attack from the Great Kahn. Regardless of the military technology though, Obama seemed firmly in-command and, unlock Romney, invested and interested in issues of Foreign Policy.
As for the moderator, no one seemed to tell Bob Scheifer this debate was about foreign policy. With the exception of Mitt Romney’s accusation that Obama went on an “Apology Tour” (which is like Birth Right for Dems), you might suspect that this debate was about Mitt Romney’s new mastery of esoteric Wikipedia facts.
This leads us to the big question: who won? Unless you are Sean Hannity, who in a bizarre freakout raged against Obama’s military zinger, crying out “Some of our troops rode horses in Afghanistan and the Marines still carry bayonets. Maybe someone should tell the President how the military actually works”, you would probably agree that this debate was an easy victory for Obama. Unfortunately, the first debate so radically shifted the shape of this race that a win for the President last night doesn’t mean much. Frankly, this would have happened even if Obama hadn’t bungled the first debate, but that made it so much worse. We’ll just have to wait two more weeks to find out if these debates really mattered at all.
Two more weeks though? Ugh. If nothing else, let’s take heart in the notion that the tiresome, overly hyped and underly substantiative Presidential debates won’t take place for another four years! Let me be the first then to wish Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s Brain in a jar attached to robot spider legs the best of luck in 2016!