(I’ll again ask for leniency with typos and formatting as I’m posting again from my phone.—TK)
–Obama had to keep pushing while Romney just had to hold ground. I don’t think Obama had enough sound bite victories to make this insignificant debate significant for him. Romney continued to seen like a plausible candidate and that’s all he needed to do.
–Despite an awkward attempt at levity during his opening remarks, Romney scored first when Obama goofed on Romney’s position on troops in Iraq.
–Obama is using his inherent advantage well, staring confidently and seriously at Romney while Romney gave his answers, frequently drawing attention to the fact that he’s the only one on the stage with commander-in-chief experience.
–The two seemed to have few substantive differences on Syria yet went on and on about it.
–Schieffer’s easily the best moderator of the bunch. Commission should have just asked him for a bulk rate for all their debates.
–Why did Obama keep poking the bear on the economy? And how did we get onto education? Is he really suggesting our foes are gauging our strength by looking at SAT scores?
–Obama describes a military budget for a pre-WW2 isolationist America? Didn’t he just accuse Romney of rummaging through history of bygone eras for policy ideas?
–Compares the Navy to “horses and bayonets”? We need more submarines? Says who?
Still don’t know why Romney and Ryan let Obama and Biden get away with pointing out the lack of specificity in their budget plan with Obama’s embarrassing budget experience dangling there like low hanging fruit.
–Romney would indict Ahmedinejad? No follow up on that? That sounds like tough talk that might be dangerous, but now he’s got to do it if he wins, doesn’t he?
–Throwdown on the “apology tour.” Romney was precise in his language here making the president appear rattled. True, no “apology,” but Romney acknowledged it was his own characterization based on the content of Obama’s statements abroad. From NRO:
In France he criticized America’s past “arrogance” and its “dismissive . . . derisive” behavior. In Trinidad he lamented a “disengaged” United States that sought to “dictate . . . terms” in the hemisphere. At the National Archives he charged his predecessors with making foreign-policy decisions “based on fear rather than foresight” and “trimm[ing] facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.”
–Obama strong on playing up the bin Laden hit and”moving heaven and earth” to do it.
–On Afghanistan, more prolonged bloviating by both candidates on what appears to be almost complete agreement.
–On drones: Gary Johnson, here’s your new ad.
–Obama jabs again at Romney and outsourcing to China, saying Romney was against federal assistance in the General Motors bankruptcy process. But from Romney’s op-ed:
The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.
–Obama closes with “nation-building at home.” Because the Great Society worked out so well.