It seemed clear to me that Mitt Romney was doing his best tonight to lay low and support the president in nearly every foreign policy stance that President Obama has taken over the last four years. I suspect that he sees the polls indicating that Obama leads in foreign policy with voters and wanted to let voters know that he agrees mostly with the president. But is there something more that we can take from his subdued style tonight? I believe there is.
For me, by playing so close to Obama’s vest, Romney allowed Obama to repeatedly tell the country that he has had a successful foreign policy. By allowing the president to point out 5 or 6 times that Governor Romney agrees with him, he gave legitimacy to the president’s policies. Not only that, but every single time, Obama took the opportunity to point out that he was glad Romney was now agreeing with him because in the recent past he has said otherwise. You can bet the flip-flop rhetoric will be severely ramped up by Obama.
Obama wrapped up by saying he will maintain the strongest military in the war and go after those that would harm Americans. After a decade of war, he wants to build our nation and care for those men and women that fought for our country. He missed his opportunity to point out that GOP Senator Marco Rubio does not support Romney's day one policy regarding China as a currency manipulator.
Romney closed with a desire for peace and a secure future. The biggest point Romney made to me was that Americans could vote for his economic strengths and not lose out on foreign policy. To me, this is the statement that he needs to make going forward.
It is now up to you dear voter. Are you satisfied that Romney will not be a warmonger, but rather one to walk softly and carry a big stick? If so, then Romney's closing statement probably rang solidly in your ears. Personally, I am not voting for either candidate, but I think Romney's last punch could prove to be the biggest one of this election.
For real-time coverage and analysis for how the debate went down, see here.