By: Mike Hosking | Wednesday, October 24, 2012
So in simple terms, the debates went to Obama - lost the first, won the second two.
But here’s his problem. Unlike Romney, who no one really expected anything from hence the bounce in the polls out of the first debate, the moment Obama turns up that’s not reason to celebrate. That's just normal transmission resumed hence no bounce out of debate two and presumably no bounce out of last night. Secondly, as was shown by both men last night who time and time again tried to revert the contest back to domestic issues, foreign policy doesn't win you votes. Jobs, the economy and taxes win you votes.
Further making it a hard road for Romney was he’s never actually been involved in foreign policy so Obama made him look like an amateur, and the traditional Republican view of foreign policy which is to bomb, kill and invade places America doesn't like has been shown to be a catastrophe. So Romney had to start using words like ‘cooperate’ and ‘talk’ and ‘negotiate’ which are Obama words. All of a sudden Mitt looks moderate and if he looks moderate the contrast of choice disappears.
Also, although it’s not the be all and end of any debate, Obama is funny. Telling Mitt the ‘80s called and wants their foreign policy back is funny. Telling Mitt, after Mitt complained about the navy having fewer ships than any time since 1917, that they also have fewer horses and bayonets is funny.
Foreign policy is one of Romney’s weaker policy areas and one of Obama’s strongest and it showed. But if I was scheduling the whole thing again, this debate would have been first and the second would have been last. I would have got a half decent moderator to shake it up a bit and bring them to life. That being said, it’s done and we count down now to the real thing - the vote.
There will be nothing new these last few days, just a reiteration of the things they’ve said a thousand times and the handful of those genuinely undecided in the swing states will make the difference. The turn out will be crucial but as always we’ll look to Ohio and Florida and states like those that hang currently on a knife edge.
Here’s why Obama will win. History shows most presidents get a second chance and the economy that causes him trouble and gives Romney leverage is recovering and its demise wasn’t the President’s fault and governments all over the world have escaped punishment because of it. Also Obama starts with enough automatic delegates to be within a hair’s breadth of victory. Romney needs more swing states, more things to go his way than Obama does.
It’s tight. The first debate made it tighter but it’s still the incumbent’s to lose.
Photo: Getty Images
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