But not decisively—Romney always held his own. And I would only say Obama won on the parts of the debates focused on foreign policy. On domestic issues, Romney won.
Romney played the gentleman and the minimize-the-exposure strategy. Also a strategic vote-gaining focus on Israel. Very good answers on China and Pakistan, but never gave—nor asked to give—a foreign policy philosophy. In places repeating himself. Overall did not give me great confidence in his foreign policy wisdom.
Dem spin that Romney “hugged” Obama’s positions ridiculous.
Obama: constantly seeking to interrupt, and shamefully given the last word time after time. Kind of a jerk, but of course nowhere near a Biden-class jerk. Very strong answer on Iran and Romney wasn’t really ready for it. Obvious zinger on the number of naval vessels, and again Romney not ready. Truly ridiculous line on Romney and Al Qaida.
Romney should have had some way to attack Obama for continually campaigning against Bush, but that would have involved some risk. Bad that Romney didn’t have the confidence to attempt this at all. He avoids complexity too much, and it was the only way he could go on offense on foreign policy.
Both lied through their teeth projecting optimism on Afghanistan.
I groaned most when Romney criticized Obama for the fact that there haven’t been Israel-Palestinian talks in two years. But most other voters, including the potential Jewish ones he’s fighting for, probably liked that. But if that’s a window into Romney’s usual foreign policy instincts, oh brother.