Romney Should Be Pleased

By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online
October 22, 2012

In the third debate, Obama had to show in 90 minutes that the first two debates were a fluke, and that Romney was not presidential enough to end his tenure. He did not do that by any means; for all his pique, interruptions, and attacks, Obama scored few points against the workmanlike Romney who knew that he simply did not have to lose. In any debate, when the two score comparable points, the more aggressive and petulant usually comes off less well, especially given that Romney’s tone and expression were more like the reflective performance of his wildly successful first debate. The take-away quotes and sound bites from the debate will favor Romney.

I predict that either Obama will not gain traction from his performance or, more likely, his standing will continue to erode as the public becomes assured that Romney is not only more knowledgeable but more likable and steady, especially when the pressure was on him in this final debate and the president went all out to call him both untruthful and uncaring.

The key, again, is to ask whether Obama will arrest the erosion in his support, and the answer is clearly no — it will only continue as the third debate confirms the verdict that was established in the first and not altered in the second.

Third Segment: Israel

By Pete Hegseth, National Review Online
October 22, 2012

Big difference: Obama says Iran can’t have nuclear weapons, and Romney says Iran can’t have nuclear capabilities. Big difference on red lines, and big difference from Israel’s perspective. The president can talk about “support for Israel,” but actions speak louder than words. These nuances matter, and “weapons” versus “capabilities” can make months of difference.

Romney’s statement on weakness versus strength on Iran was very strong — a clear difference. Sitting down with dictators is not a plan, nor is an apology tour. The subtle differences between strength and weakness may seem small to us, but the mullahs in Iran understand the contrast.

Romney quote of the segment, and of the night: “America has not dictated to other nations; we have freed other nations.” Obama’s response was in relation to when he was a candidate . . . because, of course, he has not been to Israel as president. Great point.

Romney’s Consistency: He Did Offer Help for Auto Industry — Post Bankruptcy

By Patrick Brennan, National Review Online

President Obama and Mitt Romney again clashed tonight about the auto bailout. The president continually assailed Romney for proposing to let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt — which, of course, they did, just via a government-managed bankruptcy which favored certain labor stakeholders and shortchanged many bondholders. Romney instead proposed a private bankruptcy — which, despite what the president says, or worse, might actually think — does not mean liquidation, but restructuring.

In his November 2008 New York Times op-ed, Romney proposed government guarantees for the auto companies’ post-bankruptcy financing. Obama adamantly denied this tonight, claiming you can “check the record.” Well, here it is: no proposal for liquidation, and suggestions for government support after restructuring, what Romney claimed tonight, and Obama denied he’d done:

If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

But don’t ask Washington to give shareholders and bondholders a free pass — they bet on management and they lost. . . .

The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing. A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.

Some conservatives may disagree with that proposal, but Romney did propose a middle-of-the-road solution in which the federal government would not now be holding an equity stake in the auto industry, the value of which has dropped dramatically over the past months, but would have provided some aid after bankruptcy. This was yet another issue where Obama attempted to accuse Romney of inconsistencies, where there was none.

Tortois Ties: Hare’s Concerned

By Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online

Partway through the debate, however, Romney started pushing for the win. His pivot to the economy might have seemed like evasion, but Obama followed him into domestic policy because he saw the risk of not answering the challenge. This put Romney on familiar ground and you could see his confidence grow.

Then Romney came hard at Obama on Iran, Israel, and the general decline of America’s influence in the world. The look on Obama’s face as Romney was discussing Democratic concerns about his Israel policy was pained. It was the first time he lost his confident stare. Then Romney did what he does best, paint a picture of general decline in America’s fortunes abroad under Obama’s stewardship. This worked almost as well on foreign policy as it does when Romney applies it to domestic policy. It was the pivotal moment of the debate.

By the end I thought Romney had at least won his tie, and maybe even inched out victory by a nose. He did it by playing offense at critical moments during a generally restrained, respectful, and competent performance. In effect, Romney carefully pivoted between playing for a tie and a win, and the strategy worked.

Obama has got to be concerned now. He held up his end well enough, but the president needed more than that to halt Romney’s momentum. Romney has now decisively established himself as a credible alternative to Obama. At a moment when the public thinks this country is headed in the wrong direction, that spells serious trouble for the incumbent.

Focus-Grouped Romney Edges Disdainful Obama

By Jim Geraghty, National Review Online
October 22, 2012

I suppose the Obama gameplan was to portray Romney as another George W. Bush, and Romney defused that by declaring, “we can’t kill our way out of this problem.” Not the argument you’re used to seeing from a Republican against a Democrat.

Obama’s near-explosion — “bayonets and horses… this isn’t Battleship” will stand out. Boy, was president Obama snippy and sneering  during that answer. Obama couldn’t contain his disdain and contempt for Romney in any of these debates, and it really flared tonight.

Chris Wallace just said that a Marine wrote him, “the Marines still use bayonets.”

Nothing changes. Romney’s got the momentum and is making his pitch to the remaining undecideds, who are deciding between voting for Romney and staying home. Obama and his campaign have decided to make these final weeks about base motivation, and hope that the president’s 47 percent or so will be enough to get him to 270 electoral votes. Maybe it will work, but it’s an extraordinarily high-risk approach for a president who won with gobs of electoral votes to spare four years ago.

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4 thoughts on “Romney Should Be Pleased

  1. Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter Discuss Final Debate

    Glenn joked with Ann, saying, “I don’t know why you would call Bob Schieffer a retard.”

    “Well, I think a lot of people wanted the more ‘Newt Gingrich, in your face’ approach,” Ann responded, adding, “I think a lot of us were surprised that Romney didn’t go after Obama on Libya. That he said he approved of Mubarak being deposed. He did not coming back and really hit Obama hard with some of the completely insane things he said.”

    “I realized at the end of the debate only one man on that stage looked presidential,” Ann added noting many of the tacky, snarky comments President Obama made were beneath the office of the President of the United States.

    “I think if you were watching the two of them, and you had no idea, and you would say this one is President and this one is some street fighter,” Glenn responded.

    “Instead of rising up [to the office of the presidency], he lowered everything around him,” Glenn added.

    Ann found President Obama’s performance to feel desperate and flailing. And surprisingly, found it smart of Romney not to hit hard on the cover up in Libya, because: 1. It’s what Obama was expecting and 2. After last week’s debate, the media had been covering the incident quite well.

    She pointed out that whenever Obama was off the topic of Libya, he was discussing school teachers, killing Osama bin Laden, pandering to women, and Russia — who he has already made deals to work with after the election.

    “There was a lot of embarrassing pander to women,” Ann told Glenn.

    “What is the approach here?” Stu asked. “Is there some sort of Obama internal research that shows that 93% of voters are teachers who want free contraception?” What’s the approach here? They constantly bring it back to the same topics.”

    Ann believes they’re trying to rally the base, which at this point in the game means his campaign is in trouble. At this point both candidates should be trying to win over the last few undecided voters who will ultimately determine the results of this election, which is exactly what Mitt Romney appeared to be trying to do last night.

    “If you’re in those swing states and you’re just beginning to pay attention, and you’re getting your facts about who Mitt Romney is from the President, he looked kind and gentle. He does not look like George W. Bush. He looked in control of himself. And he didn’t look snarky,” Glenn said. “I think if you’re a woman in a swing state you don’t want to go to war — nobody wants to go to war, especially women — you don’t want to go to war. He now has people saying, ‘I kind of like that guy. He was okay. He seemed to have the facts and he doesn’t want to go to a war, and the President he’ll never say this out loud.’ Again, the President gave me the facts on Mitt Romney, and he was wrong there.”

    “That’s right,” Ann agreed. “Women, curiously since 9/11, foreign policy has been a much bigger issue for women than for men. It is an important issue. Women don’t want to go to war, and Romney could not have been clearer.”

    “I definitely think that Romney is going to win. The only reason I shy away from a landslide is like Yogi Berra said it’s hard predicting especially the future,” she told Glenn.

    “Apparently immediately after the debate Obama’s chances in Ohio went down substantially on Intrade,” she added.

    Coulter also took issues with Obama’s lie that Romney would have let G.M. collapse without government support.

    “Of course Romney with his background, his father being the head of an auto company, did not say that the government should not provide support. It would have been a way to more honestly wind down a company, and eliminate some debts and honor other debts, and not just honoring the ones of your union buddies,” she said.

  2. Krauthammer Calls Decisive Victory for Romney

    By Jeff Poor, The Daily Caller

    The decisive winner of Monday night’s final presidential debate, according to Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, was Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

    “I think it’s unequivocal that Romney won,” Krauthammer said during Fox News Channel’s wrap-up of the debate. “He didn’t just win tactically, but strategically. Strategically, all he needed [was] to draw and continue momentum he’s had since the first debate, and this will continue it. Tactically, he had to go up there and show he’s a competent man as somebody who you could trust as commander in chief, a man who knows every area of the globe, and he gave interesting extra details, like the Haqqani network, which gave the impression he knows what he’s talking about.”

    Krauthammer said Obama made a mistake by focusing on “small” matters, while Romney successfully discussed the “big picture” and avoided getting lost in the weeds on Libya details.

    “But there is a third level here, that is what happened in the debate. We can argue about small points and debating points. Romney went large — Obama went very, very small — shockingly small. Romney made a strategic decision not to go after the president on Libya, or Syria, or other areas where Obama could be accusing him of being a Bush-like warmonger. Now, I would have gone after Obama about Libya like a baseball bat, but that’s why Romney has won elections, and I never even have contested them. What he did was stay away from that, and that might have actually worked for him. What he did concentrate on is the big picture. People don’t care that much about what our policy on Syria is going to be. They care about how America is perceived in the world and how America carries itself in the world.”

    Romney impressed Krauthammer specifically by referencing the president’s rhetoric abroad.

    “And the high point of that debate for Romney is when he devastatingly leveled the charge of Obama going around on an apology tour,” Krauthammer continued. “Obama’s answer was, ‘Ask any reporter, they’ll be able to tell you it wasn’t so.’ It’s about as weak an answer as you could get. And Romney’s response was … to quote Obama saying, ‘We dictate to other nations,’ and Romney said, ‘We do not dictate to other nations. We liberate them.’ And Obama was utterly speechless. … I thought Romney had the day. He looked presidential. The president did not. And that’s the impression I think that is going to be left.”

    “I think those on the right, like me, who would have loved to have been bellicose and loved the near-fisticuffs in the last debate will understand exactly why Romney did it. He stayed away from pitfalls. He did not allow himself to be painted as a warmonger. This is what Reagan understood in 1980. He it did well — Romney did, and I think this could help him win the election.”

  3. Writing for The American Spectator, George Neumayr exposes Obama’s brazen lies:

    Barack Obama came to the last presidential debate ready for a fight. But he didn’t get one. Romney seemed more interested in talking to moderator Bob Schieffer than engaging Obama in a scuffle.

    That relaxed strategy didn’t hurt Romney very much. At worst, the debate was a draw, which will only serve to seal the tightness of the race.

    Though Romney kept stepping back from his punches, Obama didn’t tire of throwing them. Apparently Romney not only kills his sacked employees’ wives he also takes glee in outsourcing jobs to China and (in a new line of attack from Obama) invests in an Iranian company. Obama was unloading all the opposition research that he couldn’t cram into the previous debates.

    Obama’s posturing as the tested executive versus a neophyte challenger looked pretty silly. “One thing I have learned as commander-in-chief,” he started off one bragging answer. In another, he said Romney had never “actually executed” a foreign policy decision. This is big talk from a community organizer whose only foreign policy experience prior to 2008 was, to paraphrase Pat Buchanan, having eaten at the International House of Pancakes. His Libyan debacle vindicates Hillary Clinton’s ad that he can’t be trusted with a ringing phone at three o’clock in the morning (little did she know that she would be the one making the calls), or three o’clock in the afternoon for that matter, which was around the time he learned that his ambassador had gone missing.

    Apparently trying out a jujitsu move, Romney just let the Libyan matter pass. This left Obama with a number of talking points to unload on his own, one of which, ludicrously enough, was that Libya is better off today than it was four years ago. Obama droned on about “ten of thousands of Libyans marching for America.” Right. Obama said that his foreign policy is “keeping America safe.” It couldn’t even keep his ambassador safe.

    An uninformed listener to this debate, full of rosy, “people tend to vote for peace” platitudes and empty uplift, would have no idea that popular jihadists have been recently torching U.S. embassies, killing U.S. diplomats, and replacing American flags on consulates with black flags of radical Islam. “There is no doubt that attitudes about Americans have changed,” said Obama. Yes, for the worse.

    Romney, determined to appear bipartisan, didn’t really challenge the nonsense that the Arab Spring has made the world safer. The replacement of unpopular dictators like Mubarak with popular ayatollahs and militias certainly hasn’t made American embassies any safer. But to Obama radical Muslims in North Africa and the Middle East have the “same aspirations” as Americans. Apparently they too toss and turn at night worrying about class sizes for their little Osamas. Not even the killing of his ambassador makes him hesitate before regurgitating this drivel from his Cairo speech that “reset” America’s relationship with the Muslim world.

    America’s foreign policy is going so swimmingly that Obama says it is time “for nation building” here at home. What does that say about his first term? It implies that he razed the place and now has to rebuild it. This is not a very reassuring task to assign to an incumbent.

    The emptiness of Obama’s more-of-the-same schemes was transparent. Somehow he is going to turn America’s economy around by increasing the budget of the Department of Education. “We have reformed education,” he said. How exactly? By making his Chicago crony Arne Duncan education secretary? Duncan’s idea of education reform as superintendent in Chicago was to propose the first gay and lesbian high school in the country. It was going to be called “Social Justice High School,” but the idea was so stupid that the Chicago board refused to fund it and the plan was dropped.

    Obama skimps on nothing, save ships, which he likened in the debate to “horses and bayonets.” At the same time, he wanted to sound bellicose, promising that “Iran will not get a nuclear weapon” in his second term. Given the durability of his promises about reducing unemployment and debt, the Iranians probably aren’t quaking at that one.

    Obama did come up with a novel line of attack against Romney: he compared one of his “critiques” to one leveled by Joe Biden. Now that is a put down. Obama prefers to take all the credit for the glorious policies of his first term, starting off one line with the words “This nation” and then correcting himself and saying “me.”

    There was a droning, slightly desperate tone to Obama’s answers. Out of curiosity, Schieffer asked Romney suddenly, “What is your position on drones?” Unfortunately, he wasn’t referring to the president.

  4. Obama Forgets Memorial to Horse Soldiers Near Ground Zero

    Soldiers Pursued Taliban on Horseback in 2001

    By Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness

    During the debate on foreign policy on Monday, President Barack Obama talked down to Gov. Mitt Romney about “these things called aircraft carriers” and “ships that go underwater.” The political consequences of that condescending, unpresidential comment will become apparent soon, but Obama’s snarky observation that our military has “fewer horses and bayonets” should not be allowed to stand.

    Somehow President Obama forgot that on November 11, 2011, Vice President Joe Biden was present at the unveiling of a magnificent statue in New York City, dedicated to the Special Operations Green Beret Horse Soldiers who road with Northern Alliance allies to vanquish the Taliban in the early weeks of the post 9/11 war in Afghanistan. At that time, horses were the best means of transportation in unforgiving mountainous terrain that was the home of cave-living terrorists who plotted murderous attacks against America.

    Even the liberal Huffington Post was aware that the striking Horse Soldier Monument was moved to its permanent home near the new World Trade Center One last Friday, October 19. One can only imagine what would have happened if Mitt Romney had made a similar gaffe, forgetting a storied military campaign that depended on horses and occurred only eleven years ago.

    During a Fox News interview on Veterans Day 2011, former Horse Soldiers described the difficulties of the mission and its importance to the war effort. Despite language barriers and a lack of modern transportation equipment, the courageous warriors fought for critically important intelligence and led the way for the air war attacks and ground military operation to come.

    Years later, American soldiers and Marines are still fighting against ruthless enemies who bury deadly explosive devices in the paths of our troops. In his book Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan, retired Army Captain Sean Parnell describes the tactics of enemy troops who repeatedly ambushed his infantry platoon in 2006, often with scimitar beheading swords dangling from their waists.

    President Obama deserves credit for approving the successful attack on Osama bin Laden, but he would be a better Commander-in-Chief if he took the time to look beyond his own role to gain insight into the sacrifices of all Special Operations Forces soldiers who have fought so bravely in defense of America.

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