I'm out. Thanks for reading! G'night and see you on election night!
Keep in mind that in battleground states the ticker is still moving in Romney's favor. The post-debate polls are not of undecided voters, they are of debate watchers (who sway Republican).
The question is: will the debate polls of different voters influence battleground undecided voters?
Will Obama's post-debate poll win move those voters back to his side?
CNN Instant Scientific Poll of registered voters who watched the debate:
*keep in mind a higher percentage of Republicans tune into the debate, as noted by Wolf Blitzer
I began my blog earlier today challenging the Presidential candidates to remind America who we are as a nation and how we have progressed as a society.
It was clear from the start that President Obama was there to remind America how strong we are as a country. And Governor Romney was there to try to tear apart President Obama's record of foreign policy success to make him appear weak and unpresidential. By Romney taking that risk (it was his only option) he fell into the trap of having to prove that he was more Presidential and had a stronger understanding of foreign policy. He fell into the trap and appeared nervous, uninformed and weak -- altogether unpresidential.
When Governor Romney, halfway through the debate, was entering foreign waters (no pun intended) talking about Iran, he tried to pull the debate back to a topic he had a firmer grasp of: domestic economy. And his last resort was to agree with Obama's policies, building on them to create a more peaceful nation.
For the first time during the debates, Obama totally dominated and led the conversation; a conversation about America's foreign policy successes. The only time he appeared defensive was when he would say, "That's not true, Governor Romney."
Obama: A (I believe his best debate to date)
Romney: B- (rambling, nervous, uncomfortable with topic and on the defensive)
What will the instant polls say? And, do they actually matter?
Summary of summations:
Obama talks about building on a great country. Romney talks about the need to fix our broken country.
Romney lays out 2 paths:
Obama: $20 trillion in debt heading towards Greece.
Romney: balancing the budget
Romney promises that "America will come back" with him as President. He promises to get along "across the aisle" because he worked with his legislature while Governor.
Obama summarizes by focusing on "building on our strengths." (Clearly he got my message from today's opening blog!)
He promises to "listen to Americans voices, fight for families and work everyday to make sure that America continues to be the greatest nation on the planet."
Romney tries to tie things up with "when you came into office things were this way...now they are worse" and mentioning meeting "someone" who felt this pain. This is a half-assed attempt to personalize. Romney needs to stop saying he "loves" people or "met" people and actually connect with people by, you know, knowing their names.
I miss Candi Crowley -- she "checks the record" when asked.
Clearly Mitt Romney is more comfortable discussing China. His narrative far more on point (yet, unfactual).
"There's a silent trade war with China."- Romney
"Those decisions are not poll tested." Obama should take note of his own quote and post his quote on his mirror to read daily. If only he could "not poll test" other decisions.
Does the split screen hurt or help the candidates?
Quick note and totally subjective: I've been listening to the debate (not watching it) and Obama comes across as strongly as he did visually. Romney's speech is broken, nervous and unclear. Not sure if this matters anymore. Who listens to debates on the radio anymore?
"My first trip as a candidate was a trip to visit our troops. When I did visit Israel as a candidate, I did not take meetings with donors. I did not go to fundraisers." -Obama
The President on Iran:
"As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon."
"On US sanctions to Iran: "Iran's curency has dropped 80%. We're crippling them."
"They can take the diplomatic route or face the world..."
Obama comes out with his second zinger of the night: "Governor, we have fewer horses and bayonets... Our tools have changed...We use aircrafts today"
Romney on Iran:
"We have Israel's back. Iran is a threat. A Nuclear capable Iran is a threat to our friends and us."
"Crippling sanctions DO work...I would tighten those sanctions."
"A military action is the LAST resort. It's something one would only, only consider if all the other avenues did not work.
It's Fact Check time!
Romney is all over the place. In one statement he talks about his ability to create 12 million jobs at home; education; trade with Latin America (last time I checked, we're pretty good there).
My question is: Where is the moderator? Foreign Policy?
Obama links Romney's spin (to the domestic economy) to oil consumption. Smart move. Foreign policy is about oil. Connecting foreign policy with everyday people.
Romney spins the debate back to what he knows better: the economy. Quotes Admiral Mullen saying "the number one threat to national security is a poor economy."Missed opportunity to tie foreign policy to oil and to American pocket books. Because, well, that's what most people really care about.
If you've read Woodward's "Obama's Wars" you'll be aware that President Obama came into office weak on foreign policy. Hard to believe this now. Obama is doing a fantastic job (possibly the best he's done in any debates): articulating complicated foreign policy; what his administration has accomplished; why they have taken certain actions; what needs to be done.
Romney is confusing regions, inconsistent with his arguments, attacking and supporting the President's policies at the same time and looks hot and bothered. He comes across uncomfortable.
Pres Obama moves through quoting Romney's words on labeling the #1 threat as "Russia" (not Al Qaeda) and his calling for MORE troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (despite pulling troops out) despite his previous statement seconds before saying that Al Qaeda was #1 threat.
To start, President Obama is performing his best. He appears calm, clear and confident. What Americans are going to look for in this debate is a President or future President who is in control of the situation. Obama is coming through more so than Romney who is calm, but scattered.
Romney starts with an unclear strategy -- mentioning...Mali? (cue Mali as a trending google search) Then says "we cannot kill our way out of terrorism?" Must I remind Mr. Romney that President Obama is the one who has frequently called for negotiations with the Al Qaeda leaders AND recently confirmed negotiations with Iran?
Obama starts by clearly stating that his number one duty, as commander in chief, is to protect the American people. Good start.
Watch the live debate HERE
Democracy Prep's (a NY charter school) inspiring students remind us that our civic duty is an American right -- something we should be grateful for!
On a recent trip to visit my family, my 87-year-old grandfather who has recently been reflective on life, said to me: “Nomiki, the secret to life is to recognize what you have and be grateful for it. That is it.”
On my flight back home I thought about what he said. Is that really all it’s about? Be appreciative for what we have?
As I open the newspaper today trying to figure out what to write about on this last presidential debate, my grandfather’s words hit me. How would politics -- and the world -- progress if we focused more of our attention on what we have, our progress, than on what is wrong with society and what we demand? How would political campaigns look if we spent less time criticizing and tearing down our opponents?
Some say our country is broken because of the failure to compromise. Compromise is just as much about discussing what we have in common as much as it is about what draws us apart.
How would discourse improve and the electorate feel if we talked more about how far we've come together?
Echoing my grandfather’s beliefs, I believe the secret to life lies in having a healthy perspective on things. The secret is understanding that we are all connected and that problems that seem dire today were hardly headaches a century ago.
As we step into the final days of this presidential election and watch the final debate, consider how much more inspired the electorate would be if our leaders reminded us not of how great America was or can be again, but of how great we, together, have made it.
There is no critique of this race that I have not given. There are no words about this race that have not been written. And when I’m left speechless, I often take a walk and try to flip my perspective.
This blog is just about that. I challenge each of you readers and I especially challenge current and future leaders to frequently step outside of your comfort zones and echo chambers of negativity and criticism to appreciate the America we live in today.
Of course we have work to do. But when you come from a place of appreciation rather than acrimony, it is easier to see the path through the weeds.
I am not issuing a call for American exceptionalism, but one for American content. If politicians used debates as an opportunity to have a conversation with voters and not as one to attack the other, perhaps we Americans would realize it ain’t all bad...
Final Presidential Debate:
Topic: Foreign policy
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