Debate Recap: Who Won the Third Presidential Debate

It was a heated exchange tonight between President Obama and Governor Romney. This was by far the closest debate of the 2012 election, but the slight edge goes to the President. Though Romney had excellent answers to many of the questions, he failed to deliver anything close to an "OH SNAP!" moment. Obama on the other hand had several zingers, including a dressed-up version of a classic slam, essentially saying to Romney, "the 80s called and they want their foreign policy back."

The most notable knock-out punch from Obama was his patronizing explanation of the changes in the Navy. "We don't have as many horses or bayonets either," the President said,  "and we have things called aircraft carriers." Obama then really flirted with the line between debating Romney and flat out insulting him, adding a very sarcastic "planes land on them." I think he pulled it off without seeming like too big of a jerk, but I could definitely see his opponents taking exception to Obama's tone.

That being said, it was Romney who seemed to have the most specific and detailed answers when it came to action plans for at-risk nations. His answer on Iran, in which he promised to treat Iran's diplomats as pariahs and indicte Ahmadinejad for genocide, was much better than the President's. Obama simply said that he wanted to use all the options at our disposal. That's basically a meaningless sentiment with which no one would disagree. Who wants fewer options?

Obama gets the win, but only slightly, and only on the basis of his memorable zingers. Without those moments, Romney would easily have won the night by giving the most complete answers to the most questions. I feel like people will be calling this one both ways, especially since Obama occasionally fringed on being downright snarky.

 

 

     

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Jasper Zweibel

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