Mark Davis

The GOP base knows about his business acumen, his strong faith and his beautiful family. What we have wondered about is his passion for conservatism. Is it a recently discovered enthusiasm born of political expediency, or a genuine journey leading to the kind of enlightenment that yields a far better candidate and perhaps a great President?

So on Monday night, debate success will not stem from some skillfully-placed factoid about Syria or even a pithy retort the tenth time the President reminds us he got bin Laden.

Romney needs to address foreign policy the way he mastered domestic issues on October 3-- with the determination to take an unacceptable situation and make it better.

It is unacceptable that Iran marches toward a nuclear weapon without a steadfast American response.

It is unacceptable that America has forfeited a leadership role around the world, leaving power vacuums to be filled by terrorists and tyrants.

It is unacceptable that we seem more interested in coddling the Muslim world than in confronting the portion of it that still threatens us.

It is unacceptable that we have neglected our alliance with Israel.

And to make it as fresh as today’s headlines, it is completely unacceptable to hear of embassy personnel security requests going ignored, and for the resulting deaths to be dishonored by a politically-driven campaign of deceptions.

Only the most entrenched Democrat partisans can assert that this presidency has been a foreign policy success. With moderator Bob Schieffer unlikely to run interference as Candy Crowley did, President Obama will be left to defend the decline of America on a world stage still swirling with dangers.

In shattering the falsehoods leveled at him by Obama attack ads, Mitt Romney has offered himself up to independents and undecideds as a thoroughly palatable alternative to the President on domestic issues. Similar success on foreign policy matters could seal the deal, establishing a momentum storyline that could spur the polls-- and thus the election-- to break his way.