Final Debate 2012: Around the World in 80+ Minutes…

By Erin Drushel

[avatar user=”ErinDrushel” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”]Erin Drushel[/avatar]

Last night was the final Presidential Debate of this 2012 election season and it was certainly different in tenor than the town hall format last week.

Obama’s Performance:

President Obama has foreign policy experience.  That may seem like a no-brainer, but that statement was reinforced last night.  And it’s not just experience of one nature; it’s through good times, bad times and transitional times.  He made it clear that diplomacy doesn’t happen overnight and needs to be approached thoughtfully and responsibly.

Prior to this debate I was asking myself if the topic of foreign policy was relevant enough to the average voter to tip the scales in any election.  During this debate, Obama shared stories of everyday Americans who were affected by his decisions abroad; I think he made foreign policy matter to the average person last night… and at one point brought me to tears.

Romney’s Performance:

It must be a very daunting task for a candidate to show foreign policy knowledge without having had any real experience with it.  Despite his lack of experience, Governor Romney worked very hard to show that he knows what is going on in the world.  With almost every country he provided an overview of what is happening in those regions in an almost encyclopaedic way.

Likely in an attempt to appear more diplomatic, Romney was a lot more subdued than he’s been on the campaign trail when criticizing the President’s foreign policy.  In some cases he seemed a little too subdued when not responding to some of the President’s more biting criticisms.

What I liked:

Bob Schieffer… I think I’ve developed a crush.

I liked that there was a lot of agreement on how foreign policy matters are currently being managed and agreement on how previous situations were handled; BUT

What I didn’t like:

… I didn’t like how Romney consistently qualified his agreement with the President with the automatic response of “I would have done it sooner.”  To me that’s just immature.

I can also tell you I’m getting tired of hearing about so-called “plans” which are no more than a wish-list of what a certain candidate hopes will happen.  I understand you can’t give in-depth details until you see the secret papers – but c’mon – just a couple of details, please!

Favourite quote of the night:

I had a tough time this week because there were a few really good ones…

“You’ve now heard months of campaigning, three debates, and way too many TV commercials.” – President Obama

General Comments:

November 6th is Election Day in the United States (don’t let the postcards fool you).

I can’t tell you how to vote… well – I could – but I won’t.  What I will do is ask you to think for yourself and be sure to vote.  Ignore the polls and take the time to sift through the rhetoric… make sure your candidate of choice represents a future of which you can be proud.

In the words of Bob Schieffer’s Mom:

“Go vote.  It makes you feel big and strong.” 

See it for Yourself!

If you missed yesterday’s debate, you can view it in its entirety below:

– Erin Drushel