Skip to comments.Why Mitt Wins
Posted on 10/26/2012 6:49:28 AM PDT by Kaslin
The final presidential debate on foreign policy muddled the differences between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama on foreign policy, but foreign policy is second or third on most voters list of priorities. Therefore, the debate will likely not impede the Romney surge that preceded the debate. Notwithstanding President Obamas juvenile retorts, the Marines still employ bayonets, and Mr. Romneys steady march to victory continues apace.
Stylistically, Mr. Romney showed for the third time that he is every bit as presidential as the current president. In contrast to the incumbent, who interrupted, offered snide remarks and focused incessantly as he has done for almost four years on himself, Mr. Romney was confident, knowledgeable, and upbeat about Americas future opportunities, not his, under a Romney presidency. Displaying his confidence and his maturity, he was strong, specific and he played fair by not interrupting or condescending; the president was none of these things.
Substantively, and importantly, Governor Romney was forward looking, and he called out Obamas failure to look ahead, saying attacking me is not an agenda. Mr. Obama seemingly took this to heart and the next day released an agenda for his next term.
Thematically, Mr. Romney succeeded in offering policy critiques mixed with compelling calls for renewed leadership abroad, something he has convincingly and increasingly done, as in his excellent speech at VMI. Mr. Romney rightly criticized the presidents apology tour, reliance on international consensus, and resort to a kill-only mentality (We cant kill our way to victory). Mr. Romneys agreement with aspects of President Obamas policies made Mr. Romney look more, not less, reasonable to undecided voters less attuned to foreign policy issues.
Further displaying an adept recognition of the power of perception, Mr. Romney made clear to independent and undecided voters that he is not a carbon copy of George W. Bush. Mr. Romney made clear that as president, he will not be preemptively sending troops into harms way to nation build, and that a Romney administration would prudently seek to end to existing conflicts and pursue peace, while taking the necessary steps to retain a robust military. This was appropriate in a nation weary of war, but cognizant of the lurking threats abroad. The political wisdom of this strategy is obvious: Options that risk no American lives risk no American votes.
Yet Mr. Romney also recognized that voters understand that military strength is indelibly tied to economic strength. In this regard, he successfully pivoted from foreign policy to domestic policy and continually pointed out Mr. Obamas dismal economic record. This was smart because history teaches that when the economy is struggling, voters break for the challenger. In 1980, 2000, and 2008, when the economy was in recession, the challenger or challenging party won. In 1984, 1996 and 2004, the economy was considered healthy and the incumbent won.
The upshot of the final debate, and the debates overall, is a small but clear advantage for Mr. Romney down the home stretch. Rasmussen indicates voters gave Mr. Romney the edge on the debates by an 8 point margin, 49-41. Fundraising again in Los Angeles this week, the president seems to understand his increasing vulnerability, and Mr. Romneys opportunity. If the governor can harness the momentum afforded by his victory in the debates, and capitalize upon the perception and enthusiasm gaps currently trending in his favor, his chances come Election Day appear strong.
One of Mr. Obamas self-professed models, President Reagan, quipped that the status quo was Latin for the mess were in. Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, the debates and the abiding focus on domestic issues have only served to reinforce that the status quo is dismal, and that four more years of Mr. Obamas leadership will do nothing to change that. In Mr. Romney, voters see a credible alternative to the status quo, a chance for prosperity after four years of failure. The time for choosing has come. The reckoning beckons.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the real winner of the foreign policy debate was Ayman al-Zawahiri. Neither candidate showed the slightest grasp of al Qaeda’s strategic vision. Both tried to portray the loss of North Africa to the Muslim Brotherhood, or worse hard-core Salafists aligned with al Qaeda, as a triumph of democracy. Both propose to actively support the extension of that disaster to Syria.
Obviously electing Romney is necessary to save the Republic on the domestic front, but we’d better hope he has the circumspection to realize that foreign policy is his weak suit, and that he picks advisors who actually understand Islam, rather than relying on the politically correct types from Foggy Bottom. Shedding his slavophobia might also be helpful — I know it doesn’t look it now with Putin mistakenly thinking he can use Iran as a pawn in a game of balance-of-power with the U.S., but in the long run Russian interests and American interests coincide both against Islam and against China.
“wed better hope he (Romney) has the circumspection to realize that foreign policy is his weak suit, and that he picks advisors who actually understand Islam, rather than relying on the politically correct types from Foggy Bottom.”
How about John Bolton as a replacement for Hillary?
Bolton would be good. But does Romney have the guts to make such a pick?
I hope we get to find out!
I second John Bolton for SECSTATE!