Quick Takes: Final Obama-Romney Debate



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I had an enjoyable live chat during the final Obama-Romney debate.  This will be the final debate we see former Massachusetts  Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.  The best news is this is the last presidential debate for another four years!  I am so ready for this election to be over with, how about you?  This debate being the last time both candidates get to speak to Americans during a venue with this kind of viewership it is going to be a crucial one, especially for the President when the POLITICO/George Washington University daily tracking poll now shows Mitt Romney with a slight lead.  They are in a dead heat with the Real Clear Politics average.  News today also shows Governor Romney creeping up on President Obama, cutting his previous lead in half and now only down by 5%.  With the Real Clear Politics average we have a virtual tie with Romney up slightly at 47.6% and President Obama with 47.2%.

And some quick thoughts…

  • No surprises, no stumbles or obvious gaffes from either candidates.  As far as debate performances goes it was even.  It was rather uneventful, at least compared to last week.
  • I call it a draw.  President Obama was aggressive, but not too much.  Governor Romney passed the commander-in-chief test.  It was obvious that he came well prepared for this debate.  I doubt there will be much movement, if any, in the polls.  Incumbent Presidents almost always have an advantage in these types of debates.
  • This was probably the wonkiest debate of the election cycle.  Neither men provided much daylight between the candidates.
  • Romney was not nearly aggressive in this debate as he had been in the previous two, and I believe he needed to provide more contrast.  Avoiding pushing on Libya based on last week was probably the way to go, but I’m not sure it really helped him.
  • Bob Schieffer did a good job moderating for the most part, but needed to keep it moving along in spots where the candidates wanted to focus on domestic issues.
  • President Obama admitted to the apology tour that shouldn’t play well with undecided.
  • I’m surprised that North Korea was hardly discussed.  I also thought they should have gotten into border security and relations with Mexico.
  • President Obama’s crack at Romney about sequestration, he said, “We also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”  It just came across as juvenile.  He also said it is something that won’t happen.
  • President Obama’s comments on Russia seems naïve.  Romney gave good push back there saying he wouldn’t provide flexibility for Vladmir Putin.
  • Money quote award goes to Mitt Romney, “America has not dictated to other nations… we have freed nations from dictators.”

Your thoughts?

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  • mobyditch

    No stumbles? Really? Did you watch the same debate as millions of other did because if you had you’d seen that Romney isn’t presidential material at all. He looked meek at best and didn’t offer any really solutions to the problems we face around the world. And lets mention that 17 out of 23 advisers he has on his team are former Bush personal who led us into Iraq. Not good.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      The fact I can say that Obama didn’t have any stumbles, and you can’t say likewise shows me that you have partisan blinders that evidently can’t come off to look at the debate objectively. All I hear from you are DNC talking points. It wasn’t a bad debate for either man.

  • Argon

    I was surprised by the degree that Romney changed from positions he took during the primaries and by the general agreement he claimed with many of the current administration’s actions. With regard to positions, it’s an interesting strategy to say whatever one thinks will help one’s candidacy at any particular time but I’m gobsmacked at the frequency Romney uses it.

    Shane, you noted Romney’s ‘fluidity’ of positions on the abortion issues. Did you also notice his foreign policy reversals and pivots?