Presidential Debate Winner: A Clear Win for Obama on Foreign Policy



Oh yeah, another major campaign event in which Romney didn't mention veterans at all.


The closing statement is a referendum on progress. I'm not sure Obama wins that one clearly, BUT he did win this debate clearly.

Obama dominated the first 20 minutes on Arab Spring and owned the China debate. Iran was a wash but Romney needed a clear win. Obama did a great job on the defense budget where Romney thought he had a strength. The Bin Laden story was a highlight the night.

Obama was both trustworthy and likeable. Romney looked uncomfotable but he did get his stride for a bit. By contrast though, Obama's steely resolve and steady leadership were on display. This is a good night for Obama.

I hope people were watching the debate and not just Monday Night Football!

UPDATE 10:29pm

Romney and Obama have both mentioned Pennsylvania in the debate. Does this mean PA is back on the map? I hope not.

UPDATE 10:23pm

I'll give Romney credit for a decent response to the trade war question.

Obama's response about betting on American workers instead of the Chinese = WIN.

The President's "I hate you Romney" look has morphed into a "Thanks for agreeing with me so much, I'm listening attentively to crush you later" aka the "I'm President and I will be for the next 4 years" look.

UPDATE 10:18pm

Obama's doing a great job reminding folks of his strong record of leveling the playing field with China on trade. Curious talking point from Romney that China wants the world to be free and open. Ummm.... FALSE.

UPDATE 10:13pm

This is like a funhouse mirror. A Republican critique of a Democrat is "we have to do more than just killing bad guys." Wowzers.

UPDATE 10:08pm

Obama is doing a great job building trust with the audience. He looks calm, cool, collected, and (this is key) like a leader with strong resolve. And we've got some pro-vet talk.

I'm really enjoying watching this debate. Barack, undecided voters are liking you!

UPDATE 10:03pm

Obama's reminder of taking out Bin Laden time. The story of the little girl thanking Obama for getting Bin Laden is HUGE!

UPDATE 10:00pm

The classic hypothetical "what if Israel attacks Iran" got smacked down by... Romney! It seems like he thinks he might actually be President and doesn't want to establish red lines and bluster about Israel anymore. Very interesting moment.

UPDATE 9:56pm

It was pretty interesting to see Romney's "apology tour" talking point (that conservatives looooovvvveee) fall so completely flat on the dial. Now he's bringing it up again and it still isn't working.

Obama has finally busted out a reminder that Romney was heavily invested in Chinese companies that were hurting American jobs. 

UPDATE 9:52pm

At 9:50pm Obama buckles and says "UN resolutions." Immediately conservatives begin cutting attack ads!

Obama makes a crucial point - Iran sanctions only work when other countries are on board. Thank you! Really good way of teaching the public what's happening on Iran without getting wonky.

UPDATE 9:48pm

Some thoughts from friends who can't write publicly:

Romney says he wants to intervene in Syria but doesn't want to use the military to do it. Maybe he thinks Assad will self-deport?

Maybe Romney thinks he can solve the deficit problem and spend more on defense like he did in college - by borrowing money from his parents.


But, Romney's Iran response is really good. He's showing some signs of life.

UPDATE 9:44pm

-1 for Romney for being the first to "sequester"

Obama smack down saying yes we have less ships, also less bayonets.

UPDATE 9:42pm

Romney's response on how he pays for defense spending is woefully insufficient. When Obama starts talking about cutting military spending he gets a big gap with women very happy and men just ok.

First mention of cyber security and budget driven by strategy - that's a great response for how you create a defense budget.

UPDATE 9:37pm

Romney had a good moment riffing on economic development. Somehow he got around to bashing teachers unions in a foreign policy debate, which just shows how much Republicans hate teachers.

Obama comes back with education as economic competitiveness. 4 total debates and this is the first talk about education. Education talk is good for Dems - they start with inherent trust. Women loving it on the dial.

UPDATE 9:32pm

A bunch of thoughts going back a while since PolicyMic was down

- Obama comes back with energy independence and reduced deficit = awesome.

UPDATE 9:09pm

Starting with Libya is a bold moderator move. The early Romney strategy seems to be showing depth and being measured. Sounding kinda liberal and wonky, no zingers. Kind of a snooze.

Obama sticking to the basics - not much movement on the dial but a good job reminding voters of successes to start. Obama throws the first punch at the end of his answer.

UPDATE 9:00pm

Here we go - gonna be interesting to see if viewership is high considering we're competing against both MNF and an NLCS game 7. Come on voters, care about the future of the world!

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