President Barack Obama and candidate Governor Mitt Romney go head to head in Boca Raton on Monday night at 9 p.m. Eastern in the third and final presidential debate on foreign policy.
Following up on last week’s strong performance on Long Island and with a definitive, if slim, constant margin of approval for his foreign policy (composite 50-44), Obama has an initial leg up on Romney who has to magick a balance between the Republican hawkishness and the Libertarian non-interventionism he needs to woo.
Obama’s post-Bush-ism has served him well. “America's problems in the world...were the bitter fruit of America's history of bullying, selfishness and militarism...a great power does not show strength by dominating or demonizing other countries.” Whether or not you agree with it, Obama’s “doctrine of mea culpa” foreign policy has won a majority of the hearts and minds of Amuurka. Why fix it if it ain’t broke?
Of course Romney thinks it’s broken, but the only concise way to describe <strike>Cheney’s</strike>his <strike>policy</strike>ideology is the following: “When America is strong, the world is safer. It is only American power — conceived in the broadest terms — that can provide the foundation for an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States.” War-mongering disguised as pax americana, anyone?
The debate topics include: America’s role in the world, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Israel and Iran, the Middle East and Terrorism, and China. Translation: bullying, troops, Bin Laden, nukes and secret nukes and the UN, bombs and Islam, and currency manipulation and outsourcing.
No matter the candidates’ answers, American voters probably don’t care as much as they should (at least in Martha Raddatz’s opinion) about foreign policy. Even if foreign policy isn’t your thing, It’s sure to be a mud-slinging interruption-fest so find a drinking game to stay engaged.
I’ll be liveblogging right here on PolicyMic so bookmark, refresh and stay tuned.
12:06 AM: Recommendation: if you read (or re-read this), have the debate running in the background. Or in your memory. Unless you have Romnesia. It's more like a Twitter feed anyway. For substantive analysis, go elsewhere; like NOT debate recaps. Also, how are the SF Giants trending at 14 on Google? They just won a pennant for crying out loud!
10:53 PM: Now 8-0 SF. What am I doing? The monkey-poop-slinging-fest is over, y'all can watch the game on your own. PEACE.
10:51 PM: STL is just giving this game up. Still 7-0, bottom of 7th.
10:46 PM: So, the real question: after all that, who would YOU rather have a beer with? I'd buy Obama a brewski any day of the week. HE wouldn't stare at me like I was trying to eat his children.
10:35 PM: "Smarmy," says my mom. THAT'S THE WORD FOR ROMNEY. Oh now I need to listen to the post-debate analysis so I can pick a winner based not on policy but on demeanor. Because that's pretty much their only distinguishable characteristic.
10:33 PM: And for good measure, let's bless ourselves. Invoke the religion. Zom-ney. "It's a weird thing to say," says my mother, who would hate his manners.
10:32 PM: The twitterati have declared a winner. Romney has declared MATH. Who are you, Paul Ryan? Hey- hey- grow MY take-home pay! Oh wait, I'm not in your binder.
10:30 PM: Somehow this came back to domestic economy (obv it's all connected, but). Hey he took this from his campaign platform page!
10:29 PM: Yeah the whole commercial thing, good call. Chuckle chuckle. Likeability win right there. Oh and this full-screen shot. Man's got the moves. At least he looks not-evil when he looks at you, unlike Zom-ney.
8:28 PM: The foodstamp numbers don't really work for me. It's not statistics in a vacuum...
10:25 PM: Then again, if, like George W., we elect them based on their inability to pronounce English words, Romney will win because he has now said, for at least the second time, "entepeneurs." I know you're from New England, bro, but say your dang Rs.
10:24 PM: If presidents really win on likeability, Romney shouldn't have a chance in hell. He is rude and interrupts and has the most disrespectful tones of voice and disdainful facial expressions. My mother wouldn't stand for that.
10:23 PM: There are seven theoretical minutes left in this debate and I could have just filled in the answers with a Google search.
10:22 PM: Speaking of basic research, what was that about NASA funding, Senator Coburn?
10:21 PM: I have a TERRIBLE fake Kate Spade that I got in Chinatown when I was in middle school. Oooh Obama BURN...outsourcing FTW.
10:20 PM: Romney always just sounds like everything is a personal affront.
10:19 PM: Follow @jilliancyork of EFF for opinions on internet freedom.
10:17 PM: I SWEAR I KNOW HOW TO TELL TIME.
8:16 PM: It's a good thing they don't give silence vows to baseball audiences. Then again. SF has held this lead for a few innings so I don't think cheering would help R or O much.
8:15 PM: Here's what I know about China: I had some Hunan Beef for dinner last week. Also I made my dad teach me about currency manipulation earlier.
8:14 PM: Schieffer: Yeah, you guys are boring. Let's change the topic. POOOH Nat'l Sec!
8:13 PM: Is there a difference between democracy and the people?
8:12 PM: YEah, Islamic extremism. Riiiiight. American extremism:
8:10 PM: OMG TERRORISTS NUKES RUN HIDE
8:09 PM: Pakistan...that's a country, right?
8:07 PM: Why are we talking about 2014? Won't the world be over by then? #zombieapocalypse
8:06 PM: TALIBAN drink fools. Ermmm...Have you guys read Kite Runner?
8:04 PM: Hey guys, remember that place that used to be where Israel is? Yeah, didn't think so:
8:03 PM: Actually Romney that's how debates work. TAKE YA TURN HOMIE.
8:03 PM: On Sept 11 2001, I was in Earth Science class. Learning about science. Something Romney's cronies might want to outlaw in my ed curric.
8:02 PM: BIN LADEN PAKISTAN DRINK DRINK DRINK
8:00 PM: One hour in and all I've learned is that Romney is an egomaniacal hawk.
9:59 PM: Isn't the whole man-love thing frowned upon in Mormonism? Because it sounds like Romney and Bibi would be serious bedfellows....
9:59 PM: No hypotheticals? Where's your sense of fun!?
9:57 PM: Okay Obama just won hardcore: no fundraisers, no dinners, no pandering, just Yad Vashem (then again the whole Sderot thing...but at least he isn't pulling a "we;re saving the world that doesn't want to be saved" Romney thing)
9:56 PM: What's an apology tour? Is that what Madonna is calling her next comeback tour?
9:55 PM: Incredulity! Crippling sanctions! Iranian Revolution! Wait a minute, that wasn't during this election cycle. #70s
9:54 PM: Oh yeah. Twitter just reminded me I'm supposed to be figuring out who is winning. So who is winning right this minute? Based on use of English grammar and Arabic and Persian pronunciations, I would say Obama. Also he just said Whopper. Speaking of which I have a milky way in my pocket...
9:53 PM: What nations did you go to? Were they post-colonial or organic? BAM. #nerd
9:52 PM: Wrong preposition, clear ON that not clear TO that. But. whatever. Speaking of ticking clock...
9:51 PM: hey guys i have a great idea: let's do some kidn of global nuclear disarmament thing! yeah! cool! TEAMWORK!
9:50 PM: I smoked but I did not inhale. Oh wait, you mean that time we were chilling at Camp David? Yeah, maybe I smoked that one time.
9:49 PM: Oh you called for crippling sanctions for ISrael? Oh wait, that's only the human rights groups. Oh, you said apartheid? Waaaait a minute...
9:47 PM: SF is still dominating and it's only the 4th inning. That's outrageous. Hey. Maybe that's would it would be like if someone had nuclear weapons and then bombed everyone else. PWNAGE.
9:46 PM: Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. Neither will ISrael. Oh wait. #lies #damnlies GUYS LET'S TALK ABOUT SANCTIONS
9:45 PM: NO NO NO Israel is NOT the US no matter what AIPAC tries to tell you. Pander pander pander pander. #hasbara.
9:43 PM: Major LOL. "We have these things called aircraft carriers," cue audience snicker. VOW OF SILENCE PEOPLE.
9:42 PM: Small Navy? That's because they've all gone to Somalia to be pirates because they're afraid you might win.
9:41 PM: If the SF/STL game was going the way of this debate, we'd be cheering for touchdowns and goals instead of home runs.
9:39 PM: Hey Romney Arizona is terrible. Also, what the hell are we talking about?
9:38 PM: Come look at our website: baincapital.com (I made that up).
9:37 PM: Remember what else happened when you were gov of Mass? INDIVIDUAL MANDATE. GOBAMA!
9:36 PM: I babysat for my math teacher in HS so...wasn't I supporting HIS kids? #backwards.
9:35 PM: Is MAss where Romney learned how to say entrepreneur without the Rs? Also, O, Romney don't know about small businesses, remember? Wait...what happened to foreign policy?? Oh right...math and science and importation of engineers. Yeah.
9:33 PM: Romney answers the question no one asks: How? Coal! Trade! Kill the environment! Latin America! Chavez! Castro! Free assosciation! INVEST IN EDUCATION! Taxes!
9:32 PM: Obama Recap: Did someone say Tehran? Because manufacturing is like, a China thing. What? Man, why does Romney look like such a self-important dickwad? YES ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP!
9:30 PM: Recap Romeny: Responsibility and Privilege to defend freedom blah blah America must lead blah blah OOH ROMNEY BRINGS IT BACK TO ECONOMY my dad wins his bet CHUG YA BEERS KIDS. Also SF ahead 7-0.
9:28 PM: Principles of Peace. Alliteration. Romney's copywriters FTW.
9:24 PM: Let's educate the women! But let's educate them ONLY so far so they don't question the legitimacy/supremacy of Israel? Waiiiiit a minute this sounds like the time we went to Iraq and impose amurrcan democracy there, only like, a cultural version...#experimentsinnationbuilding?
9:23 PM: Democracy! Hah. That's a laugh. Anyway. doesn't Mitt always just look so JUDGY?
9:20 PM: Helping those who will be friends of regional allies in the long term? So what, helping the -1000000 Zionists in Syria? I don't buy it, Barry, I Don't buy it.
9:18 PM: Obama's how-to-pander to bleeding hearts and non-interventionists simultaneously: Syria. Romney: saying basically the same thing but adding a little Obama-Wronga tone of voice. Oh. The Turks.
9:16 PM: I don't know what he's talking about but I WANT HIM TO BE MY PRESIDENT. Oh, Syria. Oh, Israel. I probably don't agree but oh he talk to smooth.
9:14 PM: Y'all need to learn some manners. I think Mitt has a camera in his pin, speaking of counterterrorism effort. NO NON NO ISRAEL IS NOT OUR FRIEND OR OUR ALLY AHHHHH MY EARS.
9:11 PM: Is Russia a thing? I thought we still had a Soviet Union. Ahhhh MOTHERLAND!
9:08: Al QAEDA DRINK AGAIN! This Corona gonna go dowwwwwn. But, don't worry guys, Mitt's strategy is broad. Just like his...er... THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID.
9:07: oh al Qaeda DRINK BIATCHES. alliances? so like the time with the Taliban and the Russians and stuff?
9:06: Mali got taken over? Molly? MDMA? War on drugs? WHAT?! Mitt, do you even know where Mali is? Amadou & Mariam! Woooo!
9:04 PM: These old guys talk soooo sloooooow. #boredalready
9:02 PM: twitter didn't take a vow of silence
9:00 PM: HD BITCHESSSS I'll be able to see their patriotic ties like they were right in my own living room.
8:58 PM: SF scored bottom 2, now up 2-0 over STL. DWTS is glittery and there are lights. Maddow still yammering.
8:55 PM: This Dancing with the Stars thing is kind of awesome.
8:45 PM: I can't take seriously anyone who says Iraq as eye-rack.
8:43 PM: SF still winning by 1 top 2nd, Rachel Maddow still blathering.
8:27 PM: SF up one bottom 1st 2 outs.
8:23 PM: The MLB's coverage of combat is officially way cooler than the presidential debate format. BOO PODIUMS.
8:17 PM: This is an NLCS update: "Yes We Cain" sign spotted in the crowd. Oh, San Fran.
8:15 PM: Pre-debate to-do list:
1. Gather intoxicating beverages. International-origin preferred.
2. Watch people argue really quickly with unnecessary urgency on MSNBC (or whatever).
3. Check baseball game scores.
4. Organize comfortable work station.
5. Question possible benefits of 2012 apocalypse and/or zombie apocalypse right about now.
6. Switch to E! or something because the Kardashians HAVE to be more relevant than this cr*p.
8:07 PM: Also, Schieffer is gonna get pwned.
8:04 PM: My dad's prediction/drinking bet: Romney will try to bring everything back to the economy. My prediction/drinking bet: Two words: bin Laden.
7:55 PM: Dear November 6 Winner: Please never sanction Thailand. The food is just too good. #dinnertime
7:32 PM: I found these cool buttons in my room to wear tonight. Obama '08 and No W. Old school!
6:fitty-2 PM: From @ThinkProgress:
6:45 PM: A quick who's-#whotofollow on Twitter:
@LOLGOP (if you don't follow them already...LOSER)
@SarcasticRover because whomever is behind this is the sh*zz
Middle East specific: journalists and NGO leaders like:
and whomever these guys RT. I'll update this list as the night goes on based on my non-biased, scientific assessment of "quality" tweeting.
6:07 PM (4:07 Mountain): I'm rocking out to the Pretty Lights Pandora station to get stoked about this shenanigan. Also peppering the schmocial medias with awesomeness. Because "debate" is actually code for "drinking game," I'm thinking ouzo in the spirit of foreign policy/austerity/eurozone. Who's with me?