The Final Obama-Romney Showdown
If you were to go through the archives of this blog, you will see that a disproportionate amount of posts have the word “debate” in them. That has been the hot topic of the time and it is coming to a head tonight. Obama and Romney meet for their final battle. The polls are neck-and-neck; the stakes of what happens this evening in Boca Raton, Florida are high. We will not see the two go at it again afterwards, the next stop is election day.
Tonight’s topic, foreign policy, is a big one. Of course, foreign policy blunders devastated the administration of President George W. Bush and his party. President Barack Obama still tries to use Bush-era failures as a weapon today. It’s a tactic that simply doesn’t work anymore. In fact, according to the polls and people chatting around the water cooler, it’s a frustration for Americans. We are wondering if we elected a President whose leadership style is to point backward at the guy who had the job before him? Did Abraham Lincoln win the Civil War by telling America how bad James Buchanan was? No.
While America is not coping with issues like what it had in the 1860s, it does have serious challenges. We are divided politically, our economy has not truly recovered from The Great Recession and there are foreign policy concerns emerging that could turn out to be big trouble. Mitt Romney has to let the voters know that what happens in places like Libya, Iran or even North Korea are nothing to turn our noses up at. Meanwhile Obama needs to convince us that he is strong on defense and not try to use the tired approach of bashing Bush.
Another word we need to hear is “Afghanistan.” This seemingly forgotten war has been fought by our military since after 9/11 and it’s time to move on. The troops who are putting their lives on the line would undoubtedly want to get back home to situate their lives and make it a chapter of the past. Both sides have their plan for withdrawal, but it might be a good idea to say something like, “We’ll be withdrawing the day I am inaugurated.” It’d probably get a nice applause and maybe a few votes.
The host state of the debate is also an important aspect of this story. Florida is a well-known political battleground and it holds a massive 29 electoral votes. According to the polls, it is a toss-up. In the lead-up to the last debate, I spoke about how the two sides would have been better off simply ignoring the audience in the host state of New York because we knew who was gonna get their vote. This time, the two sides simply must work to win the host audience over. Floridians are a microcosm of the nation’s voters as a whole.
I want to again suggest that the two sides pay close attention to what their staff in Florida says. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Governor Romney to have popular Florida political figure Marco Rubio pounding the pavement and hitting every inch of the state on his behalf. Obama might want to find a popular Florida Democrat to do the same thing. The problem, however, is that most Democrats are in trouble in the Sunshine State. He has to campaign a great deal there himself. In fact, he is making a campaign stop in Tampa later in the week.
If politics were baseball, we’d be in game six of the World Series tonight. Watch closely and get to the polls for game seven.