Romney has to do better

The President won last night’s debate.  Barely, but he won it.  He started off on the right foot and he was simply stronger and more coherent than Romney was.  He came off as strong and assured.  Meanwhile, Mr. Romney seemed to be highlighting differences between him and the President, without actually offering any differences.  Most importantly, Romney failed to bring this debate back to the economy and that is why he lost.    

Mr. Romney

Not only was Romney not specific enough and too agreeable in the final debate, but he actually championed bad policy.  Romney talked of arming the Syrian opposition.  He spoke of opposing the sequestration cuts.  He really didn’t give us anything to go on.  Most glaringly, Mr. Romney did not take the President to task for the Libya cover-up.  It was extremely disheartening and surprising. 

When Obama stated that America was stronger in its foreign policy today than it was four years ago, Romney failed to say, “Mr. President, the Middle East is coming apart at the seams, Iran is on the road to a bomb and you haven’t responded for fallen Americans in Libya.”  It was sprinkled in there, but there was no effective monologue to remember.   

Romney was the Mr. Passive tonight.  He hardly attacked Obama at all.  The Libya issue is now gone.  But thank goodness we litigated the merits of the apology tour. 

Mr. Obama

Mr. Obama looked like he was back in front of the teleprompter as he looked back-and-forth toward the moderator constantly seeking assistance.  He mocked Romney and came off as a bully in a roundtable debate that wasn’t built for rudeness.  But that is the viewpoint of a voter disgusted by the antics of this failed president.

The president’s supporters saw a confident Mr. Obama.  One who had an effective “decades” line and erased Romney’s point scored on decreased battleships with his “horse-and-bayonets” reply.  

Obama doubled down on his failing education policy.  How do we make up ground on math and science?  Hire more teachers.  It’s like a football coach who hasn’t won a game all season, simply telling his players to score more points.  It isn’t a serious effort and it doesn’t tackle fundamental flaws in the approach.

As the President asked for another term, I couldn’t help but feel relieved.  After four years of economic neglect, he now seems ready to lead on this issue.  For his part, Mr. Obama promised that he would crack down on China’s currency manipulation – IF you give him another term.  Don’t worry, he has a commission on it though.  Additionally, Mr. Obama is now ready to nation-build at home.  His entire closing statement spoke of policies that he didn’t pursue in his first term but is now ready to pursue, if you’ll give him another chance.   

All in all, neither candidate spoke on the assassination of American citizens by American presidents.  They didn’t speak of allowing Israel to take care of its own foreign policy as a solution.  We simply quibbled over the semantics of an overreaching American foreign policy that we can’t afford.  If the election were held earlier yesterday, Obama would have won.  And Romney failed to do anything to change that.  How he plans to pull ahead on Ohio, I don’t know.  He failed to go on the offensive last night, so he better have a Plan B.