Presidential Debate Tonight: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama Stand on Shaky Ground with Libya


Even though the Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy contains issues that have the potential to be explosive, both President Obama and Governor Romney will try to simply hold their ground at all costs.

For Romney, that means sticking to his experience organizing the Olympics and avoiding minor controversies from his various trips over seas (i.e. 2012 Olympics).  Romney will also have a chance to clarify his double down on Libya, but must do so in a way is clarifying not absolving.

Romney will certainly attack the President on the clarity of the events in Libya, as well as his relationship with Israel.  It would also be wise for the former Governor to address the intracicies of the chain of command, in regards to Osama Bin Laden's death.

For the President, stick with the Bin Laden narrative is the clear place to start.  He must also provide a more clear stance on how he plans to deal with Isreal going forward.  

At the same time the President must avoid Egypt, and Libya to an extent.  If he repeats his Libya performance from the previous debate with conviction, he could come out relatively unscathed.

The clearest choice for the President is linking Romney's tax plan to the candidates bold foreign policy initiative.  President Bush's tax cuts during two wars helped create economic turmoil.  Obama can go out on a limb by asking how has proposed increase in defense is any different.  

This link should liven a potentially boring debate.

The ability of the President to keep the focus on Iran and away from Israel will benefit him in the court of Public Opion.  

Romney is at a certain disadvantage that he cannot help.  Despite his record, it is impossible to match Obama's experience.  The President has an up and down record, but he has sat in the chair.

Alluding to President Bush without talking about it directly was deftly done.  

 Israel's agression benefits Romney, as a country that prefers a proactive and over agressive military.   

Who has the better fake sarcastic laugh? Probably have to lean towards Romney.

 Obama's painting with a broad brush on his success abroad.  

Given the size of the Chineese economy, I don't think it will be possible for the United States, or it's President to dictate anything. Case and point with the trade war question.  How can you have a relation in the middle of a trade war?  While it is unfair of Obama to call him on his record as a bussinessman, his point on the taxes is a good one.  I am also interested to see Obama get fact checked here.  There are a lot of nmbers that sound great, but I think it is fair to take a wait and see approach.  

The question is how estatic will Chris Matthews be?  The transformation of Obama from his first debate to the third is startling.  Both candidates closing remarks are a remarkable study in the use of political window dressing.  As I said before,  it is difficult for Romney to be able to relate with practical foreign polic experience.  That being said the President's record is not especially strong, especially in Libya.  Romney did a solid job however, of tying foreign policy back to the U.S. Economy, an area the President's record is weak on.