Debate #3: Obama wins on points (maybe), but only Romney moves his campaign forward

Common wisdom at this point is that while Obama may have “won on points” (or not), only Romney moved his candidacy forward. Whether in fact Obama won on points is grist for another mill.

Romney needed to accomplish three things last night in the debate, and he nailed them all:

  1. He needed to appear Presidential. He did.
  2. He needed to appear knowledgeable on foreign affairs. He did.
  3. He needed to not appear as a war-monger. He did

On the other hand, Obama needed to do one thing and one thing only: make Romney appears that he was not qualified to be commander in chief. He failed.

Therefore, the trend of Romney gaining ground will continue. Obama did not stop Romney in his tracks.

Many if not most conservatives, including me, were itching to have Romney go after Obama on Libya and the coverup. He did not. In fact in the first part of the debate, not only did Romney give Obama a pass, he appeared somewhat passive himself.  Because this was such a blatant omission, one is forced to conclude, that in fact it was a conscious, calculated, and deliberate tactic by the Romney campaign.

And in hindsight, you can see why. Had Romney attempted to nail Obama on Libya and the coverup, it would not have advanced the three goals listed above. It would not have made him look Presidential, would not have made him appear knowledgeable on foreign affairs, and most likely would have torpedoed his desire to avoid appearing as a war-monger.

In fact, I am pretty sure that Obama had well-planned and rehearsed tactics to draw Romney into the swamp, should the expected attack on Libya and the coverup be mounted. Plus, we now have two weeks in which the Libya situation can become a tighter and tighter noose around Obama’s neck, and why risk jeopardizing that?

So I am thinking that even though I was hoping for a smack down in the debate on Libya, I am thinking that by taking the high road, Romney has advanced his cause to the optimal effect.

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