Debate on Foreign Policy: Obama v. Romney Open Thread

Tonight 9pm is the final debate scheduled with President Obama and Mitt Romney. Depending on which poll you’re reading, Obama leads by a hair, dead even at 47% each, or Romney ahead, althougth Nate Silver in the Times points out Gallup’s numbers are unreliable.

Tonight’s another nail-biter. It’s the last debate. And we’re talking foreign policy.

Who is Mitt Romney on foreign affairs?  We have so little to go on. This summer, the great savior of the Salt Lake City Olympics stepped in it in London, suggesting that city wasn’t as prepared as he was for their Olympics, then that culture was the reason for the difference in economic success between Israelis & Palestinians.

Today, we find out when he was Massachusetts governor, he left nasty messages on a grieving Gold Star mother’s voicemail. We also learn today that fundraising numbers show Obama continuing to dominate when it comes to contributions from the military. Our soldiers and their families have paid dearly for Bush-Cheney adventurist foreign policy we’re only now beginning to extricate ourselves from. Would Romney lead us back?

My cat.


                                                 – @ZerlinaMaxwell Milburn, NJ

Mitt Romney has zero foreign policy experience, and sometimes appears confused on current events – catch Colin Powell calling Romney out for saying the ‘Russian Federation’ is America’s #1 geostrategic threat (mark:39 in video). He will certainly be rehearsed and drilled for tonight. But like so much about the man, there’s very little by way of specifics he’s offered, beyond the kind of muscled but intellectually vacuous statements we got tired of from George Bush. What is he really about – on China, on Iran, on al-Qaeda, on war itself?

The fact that 17 of Romney’s 24 foreign policy advisors are Bush neo-con retreads. I have grave concerns with some of Obama’s foreign policy decisions – I’d include his use of armed drones here – but some of Romney’s advisors are the worst throwbacks, architects of Bush-era violent, self-justified overreach. People like Cofer Black, former head of counter-terrorism at CIA, in-and-out of Blackwater, and practitioner of the dark arts of the post-9/11 world Bush made. Renditions. Waterboarding. If Romney has no basis for his own foreign policy direction should he become president, and feels nostalgia for Dick Cheney’s worldview, I want to know that. I want that – or whatever Romney’s really about on the world stage – to be clear tonight.

There are 27 Debate Watch Parties listed at Barack Obama’s website, plus some where phone-banking is going on before the TV’s turned on, like at Upendra Chivukula’s NJ-7 congressional campaign HQ in Somerville.

There’s a lot riding. This is an Open Thread.  

Comments (3)

  1. Rex Banner

    Biased but Obama is impressive and Romney is sorta bumbling and stumbling.

    Doesn’t want another Iraq, that’s because Iran doesn’t end with a Q….

  2. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

    “Tonight’s debate demonstrated how President Obama has led the United States to a greater position of leadership in the world. Ending the war in Iraq has allowed the nation to focus on guarding against terrorism and our two greatest enemies, Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Kaddafi, have been vanquished,” said Senator Menendez.

    “While working toward U.S. troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, the President is acting carefully and intelligently in regard to the crisis in Syria. On the 50th anniversary of our nation coming the closest it ever has to nuclear war, I am proud to have authored the crippling sanctions against Iran that the President referred to tonight. I share in the President’s commitment to never allow Iran achieve a nuclear weapon. And I certainly agree that we cannot return to the wrong and reckless policies that drove the nation to a severely weakened economy and diminished stature in the world arena. Let’s continue moving forward. “


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