First of all, I’d love to know which fools decided scheduling the final debate on a Monday night against football was a bright idea. Unless Mitt gets some serious knockout blows, the Credentialed Media will be allowed to spin the debate as either a draw or an Obama win, since the viewership will certainly be lower than the previous two.
(USA Today) Obama touts his record. Expect to hear the president talk about winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the multinational operation that toppled Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. And how many times will Obama cite the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden? The president is also expected to emphasize Romney’s lack of foreign policy experience.
I’m not so sure that Obama discussing the Libyan airstrikes will be a wise idea, since that would give Mitt plenty of ammunition to discuss what happened in Benghazi, how Obama decided that the Libyan civilian population was worthy of protection but the Syrian civilian population wasn’t, not too mention all of Obama’s foreign policy gaffes. Mitt can also make Obama look bad by bringing up the Nobel Peace Prize in conjunction with all the “warmongering” ways of Obama. Most of that is the second thing to watch for per the story, and the 3rd which is specifically about Libya.
Iran. The last Obama-Romney battle takes place amid reports that the Obama administration may soon enter into one-on-one talks with Iran, seeking to dissuade it from pursuing the means to make nuclear weapons. Obama says economic sanctions have pressured Iran to reconsider its nuclear ambitions. Romney says Obama has done little to slow Iran’s drive toward nuclear weapons, and has left long-time ally Israel in the lurch over the Iranian threat.
The White House sort of kinda disputed the report. We’ll see if Obama brings it up, and, if he does, expect Romney to mention that there aren’t actually any talks, just a nebulous sorta kinda possibility of maybe possibly deciding to possibly have talks. Talks which have, unfortunately, never worked previously. Can’t really blame Obama, nor Bush, nor any other non-Iranian world leaders for that. The problem is squarely on the Iranian leaders.
How much talk about the economy? Yes, it’s a debate about foreign affairs, but don’t be surprised if the U.S. economy pops up — either candidate can argue that it has a direct effect on global affairs. Romney has criticized Obama over the $16 trillion-plus national debt, and will likely challenge the president over the prospect of major Pentagon cuts. Obama says Republicans have not cooperated on a debt reduction plan, and that the United States is recovering from the severe recession he inherited from predecessor George W. Bush.
Expect Romney to discuss countries like Greece, and how America is on an unsustainable path. Furthermore, expect Romney to attack Obama as a weak leader who only blames others for his own failed policies. Notice that Obama tended to avoid the Blamestorming during the first two debates.
Other things to watch for
- Does Mitt take a few cheap shots about such foreign policy gaffes such as giving the Queen an iPod, refusing to keep the Churchill bust, annoying the British press, poor conduct towards foreign leaders such as Netanyahu, the British PM, and the Dali Lama?
- Does Mitt bring up O’s hot mike gaffes regarding Netanyahu and with Medvedev?
- Does Mitt mention that Obama essentially led from the golf course and blew off the Iranian Green Revolution and the Arab Spring?
- Does Obama sound like a robot while repeating his stale talking points?
- Does Mitt bring up that Obama actually stuck with President Bush’s exit policy for Iraq, rather than his own 16 month timeline?
- Does Mitt bring up the expansion of domestic surveillance?
It’ll be interesting. For those who tune in during the football game commercials.