Thursday, 25 October 2012

Obama-Romney Final Debate and the 6 November Elections

By Paul Shalala

When Democrat Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney sat down for their last debate on Tuesday morning before they face-off in the November 6 Presidential elections, many pundits wondered who would take the credit in the debate. In the two previous debates, Romney won the first one and the US President snatched the second one.

The third one was very divisive as it dealt with foreign policy. On the table were issues such as China, Iran, Afghanistan and Military spending. President Obama was coming to this debate with an upper hand because he had led the world's most powerful nation for the previous four years and he had dealt with most of the world's most difficult diplomatic engagements. These include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Al Qaeda, Climate Change, Guantanamo, Africa and many others.

In terms of credentials, the US president was joining the debate with a track record of foreign policy. His republican challenger was entering the debate without any track record at all apart from his recent visit to the UK and Israel which some how was abit of a failure after he was reported to have failed to properly address UK opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and ended up calling him "Mr Leader." This is why during the debate, Romney kept on agreeing with Obama on almost all of the US president's foreign policy decisions.

As commander-in-chief, Obama also had another advantage of having first hand information on US military engagements worldwide. It is this privilege that Romney didn't have, leading him to embarass himself when he wanted to lie that the US Navy has more ships today than it had in 1916, a point that Obama later clarified as being the opposite.

All in all, Obama has won the third debate on foreign policy. These debates have a considerable impact on the way US voters choose their presidents due to the opportunity the platform offers in terms of policy proposals. From today on wards, US presidential candidates are expected to criss cross the country and campaign in the so-called "swing states" like Ohio and Florida which usually decide the occupant of the White House.

However, there are other US presidential candidates aside of Romney and Obama. These are usually not covered by the mainstream media but they eventually run for the White House.

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