And that was what the debate was: a clear view for all of the two prospective commanders-in-chief. While they are similar in many ways, there were some minor differences that might have major consequences in the future.
As with the economy, the American people already know Obama’s foreign policy. We’ve lived through it for the past four years, and so it is to be expected that more focus has been put on Governor Romney.
Romney kept the gloves on, and passed up numerous opportunities for attacks, but, to his credit, looked more reasonable; he looked calm, cool, and collected. Obama, on the other hand, looked the way he did in the second debate: irate. Romney treated the debate as a professional performance; the President seemed to take it personal.
Let’s face it: Romney had a lot of red meat that he could have thrown to his base. We know that the Obama Administration has lied to us about Benghazi; this is all in the public record. But Romney did not even mention it, never mind pressing him on it.
Romney was presidential: he had a staggering number of statistics available off the top of his head. The President didn’t have many of his own (any, actually, that I can recall), and couldn’t challenge Romney’s factual assertions.
The Left seems exasperated at how often the two candidates agreed, and are criticizing Governor Romney for agreeing with the president, but they shouldn’t feel that way.Foreign policy has never been a purely partisan issue. Even during the worst months of Vietnam or during the summer of 2007, there were hawkish Democrats and isolationist Republicans. There are ideological divides in foreign policy, but they do not cut evenly between the political parties. This is the one area in which we have not become polarized.
To give just one example that demonstrates this, every president that has run for office on a peace platform has waged war: Wilson, Johnson, Nixon, Obama. When you’re president, things happen out in the world that you cannot control: the world outside is a lot more volatile than the world inside. It’s a lot harder to be an ideologue in foreign policy than it is in writing checks to Solyndra.