USA Final 2012 Presidential Debate (#3) Observations

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collinsmark
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Main Question or Discussion Point

'Guess I'll start the thread for this one too.

Use this thread for commentary on the 3rd (final) Presidential Debate. It starts at 9PM EDT Oct 22nd. Please keep debate of issues to a minimum and focus on observations relevant to the debate itself.

Have a nice day :)

I'll be watching it streaming from here http://abcnews.go.com/live. There are numerous other sources on the Internet that one can stream the debate too.
 
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  • #2
collinsmark
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Tonight's debate snacks include,
  • Tuna salad sandwich on "hoagie" roll.
  • 1/3 of a large bag of barbeque potato chips (with ridges).
  • Ramen noodles.
The semi-traditional, presidential burrito has been cancelled due to traditional heartburn.

The soft, cushy projectiles are armed and ready. :smile:
 
  • #3
JonDE
The semi-traditional, presidential burrito has been cancelled due to traditional heartburn.
:rofl:

Leftover meatloaf, s'mores and pepsi.

I promise to try and sit through the whole debate, which I was unable to do the first two times. I will fail at this, but at least I will try.
 
  • #4
lisab
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I've been really busy so I haven't been listening to pundits much lately, so I don't know what they're saying about it. But it seems to me, given the tight race and late date, their biggest threat is to themselves - "First, do no harm!" There's very little time to make up for any serious stumble, so I bet both will be pretty cautious.
 
  • #5
JonDE
I've been really busy so I haven't been listening to pundits much lately, so I don't know what they're saying about it. But it seems to me, given the tight race and late date, their biggest threat is to themselves - "First, do no harm!" There's very little time to make up for any serious stumble, so I bet both will be pretty cautious.
I disagree in part. With how close this election is, whoever wins this debate could very likely turn into our next president, they both need to win in the worst kind of way. I expect them to throw caution to the wind.

Although, I could very well be wrong.
 
  • #6
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Romney coming out as stronger considering body language and voice.

comment:
Romney wants to destabilize region or whole world by helping Israel attack Syria.
 
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  • #7
OmCheeto
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Just watched an up and coming zombie killing movie, in preparation for tonight's discussion.

That is all, for the moment...
 
  • #8
Mentalist
Why are they talking about domestic policy?
 
  • #9
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Romney is losing badly IMO.
 
  • #10
SixNein
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Why are they talking about domestic policy?
They might as well talk about football for all of the information their sharing....

it's going something like..
"We have placed nasty sanctions against Iran."
"But i'll place super duper nasty sanctions against Iran."

zzzZZzz
 
  • #11
Mentalist
This is his weakest area so it is better to not lose horribly and at least come out without too much damage. It is much better to be overly cautious than make horrendous errors, although the 1916 navy remark was not a good point in my opinion.
 
  • #12
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I am puzzled by the amount of times Israel was brought up.
 
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  • #13
Mentalist
Drone question was asked, and Mitt Romney did not bring up the fact that Obama did some serious drone strikes resulting in the deaths of many civilians and a drone strike on a U.S. civilian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/18/us-citizens-drone-strike-deaths

Come on Romney, you should have done some research! This would have definitely netted you some points among progressives. Instead he agreed with the president. I am calling it, Obama won this debate. Throw in the white towel.
 
  • #14
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I loved the bit about bayonets and horses and "this isn't a game of Battleship."
 
  • #15
Obama won the debate, and he also succeeded in making a connection to domestic, economic policy that I think Romney failed to do properly. Romney, as in the last debate, had some good moments, but most of them were flat out lies.

The "Apology Tour" comment was handled well by Obama, especially when he mentioned going to a Holocaust memorial in Israel.

The "Smallest Navy" comment was pretty much wiped off the board with Obama's zinger about Battleship.

Romney's repeated assertions that "Iran is four years closer to a nuclear weapon" lost its bite. It came across as desperate, especially after the first few times he said it and Obama knocking it down each time.

Today was not a good night for Romney. Luckily for Romney, a bad night on foreign policy is not that bad of a night in this election.
 
  • #16
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Romney's repeated assertions that "Iran is four years closer to a nuclear weapon" lost its bite. It came across as desperate, especially after the first few times he said it and Obama knocking it down each time.
I completely agree. In fact I think several of his 'sayings' have lost their bite, though I'd say the same to Obama.
 
  • #17
CAC1001
Obama was wrong on the status of forces agreement and also on his claim that Romney was not for federal help for the auto companies as part of his bankruptcy plan: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=0 Romney says at the end:

The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.
The "Smallest Navy" comment was pretty much wiped off the board with Obama's zinger about Battleship.
IMO, that was rather petty and something that should have been a quite easy counter for Romney. Obama was implying that these are modern times, and thus it is okay for the Navy to be as small as it is, because we don't fight wars in the way that we used to and have much more advanced technology now, and therefore can get by with a smaller Navy. That reminds me of the Vietnam War, when it was decided that these are modern times, and modern fighter planes don't dog fight anymore, so therefore, no machine guns need be on them. The result was our fighter planes initially (F4 Phantoms) then began getting into fights with North Vietnamese fighters, where they very much needed a machine gun (later F4s were equipped with them).

The idea that these are modern times, and thus X form of warfare is a thing of the past and Y form of weapon system is no longer needed, is incredibly dangerous reasoning, as nobody knows what the future requirements will be. Compare 1982 to 2012. Now go twenty, thirty years into the future. We could find that we seriously regret having shrank the Navy. No, we don't need a Cold War-sized Navy, but we shouldn't have a tiny one either.
 
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  • #18
No, we don't need a Cold War-sized Navy, but we shouldn't have a tiny one either.
Who said we should have a "tiny" Navy? And who do you think is going to attack us such that we need more than eleven carrier battle groups? Russia and China each have, what, one carrier battle group?

This is the problem I have with people who try to scare others about having a "weak military". We could cut our military by 50% and still have the most powerful arsenal on the planet. Plus we will always have nuclear weapons, which renders any conventional attack by any threat on the planet moot.
 
  • #19
JonDE
Obama was wrong on the status of forces agreement and also on his claim that Romney was not for federal help for the auto companies as part of his bankruptcy plan: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=0 Romney says at the end:





IMO, that was rather petty and something that should have been a quite easy counter for Romney. Obama was implying that these are modern times, and thus it is okay for the Navy to be as small as it is, because we don't fight wars in the way that we used to and have much more advanced technology now, and therefore can get by with a smaller Navy. That reminds me of the Vietnam War, when it was decided that these are modern times, and modern fighter planes don't dog fight anymore, so therefore, no machine guns need be on them. The result was our fighter planes initially (F4 Phantoms) then began getting into fights with North Vietnamese fighters, where they very much needed a machine gun (later F4s were equipped with them).
Yet, America has 13X the tonnage in the sea then any other country. If our navy is small, that makes every other nations teeny tiny. Most of the countries with a top 10 navy are our allies.

In reality, America's navy could fight a half decent fight against the rest of the world's navy combined. We would lose, but we would give them a run for their money.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Navy

Edit: actually I'm not even sure we would lose
 
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  • #20
CAC1001
Who said we should have a "tiny" Navy? And who do you think is going to attack us such that we need more than eleven carrier battle groups? Russia and China each have, what, one carrier battle group?
Our current Navy is tiny by historical standards, and Obama was making the argument that this size is okay, that these are modern times, and just as we have fewer bayonets and horses today, we also have fewer ships (as if to say that we can get by with this level of ships just fine). My point is that line of reasoning can be dangerous as no one knows with any certainty what the future requirements will be for our military.

As for who will attack us, I am not claiming any one will attack us, I am saying that the geopolitical situation could get to a point where a conflict could occur that requires a larger navy than we have now.

This is the problem I have with people who try to scare others about having a "weak military". We could cut our military by 50% and still have the most powerful arsenal on the planet. Plus we will always have nuclear weapons, which renders any conventional attack by any threat on the planet moot.
If you are talking purely defensive purposes, as in defending the homeland of the U.S., then yes, the U.S. could cut its military by 50% and still have the most powerful. But in terms of power projection capability or the ability to underwrite global trade and security as our military does now, cutting it by that amount would be devastating.

That's another area Obama was over-simplifying as I see it. He said that we spend more on defense than the next ten nations combined. That's because the next ten nations combined barely spend anything. No nation, aside from the U.S., has any real power projection capability, the only exception being the United Kingdom and even they, now, would have a hard time pulling off something like the Falklands War again.

There are two definitions of "weak" regarding the U.S. military:

1) Is the military strong enough to protect the U.S. itself from attacks by foreign countries or invasion

2) Is the military strong enough to do its job of being the anchor that maintains global peace and security

On nuclear weapons, that's fine for defending the homeland, but the issue of U.S. security is more complex than just defending the physical U.S. homeland. We aren't just talking American security, we're talking the security of the free world.
 
  • #21
CAC1001
Yet, America has 13X the tonnage in the sea then any other country.
Again, that's because everyone else barely spends anything. It isn't as if they all spend a reasonable, large amount on defense and have power projection capability, but the U.S. massively over-spends on maintaining some massive, way-oversized military that it doesn't really need.

If our navy is small, that makes every other nations teeny tiny.
Yes, most other country's navy is teeny-tiny.

Most of the countries with a top 10 navy are our allies.
Right now, sure, but I'm talking the future. Twenty to thirty years may sound short, but in geopolitical issues, you can see big changes. For example, imagine trying back in 1982, thirty years ago, to project what kind of military the U.S. would need for 2012.

In reality, America's navy could fight a half decent fight against the rest of the world's navy combined. We would lose, but we would give them a run for their money.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Navy

Edit: actually I'm not even sure we would lose
Yes, but again, I'm talking future scenarios.
 
  • #23
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My point is that line of reasoning can be dangerous as no one knows with any certainty what the future requirements will be for our military.
I'm sorry, but this doesn't seem like a good line of reasoning you're pursuing about the navy. Maybe there is a good line of reasoning somewhere, but you're going to to have to be more descriptive. "No one knows with any certainty what the future requirements will be for our military" is not an argument for why we would need a bigger navy in particular. That line of reasoning could apply equally to missile silos or helicopters, or military satellites.
 
  • #24
russ_watters
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From CNN, before the debate:
Mitt Romney is planning to shed the scrappy in-your-face debate strategy from last week's town hall and replace it Monday night with a calmer demeanor - someone voters can imagine as commander-in-chief, CNN has learned.

"I don't think this is necessarily a debate where you're going to see point-for-point scoring," Romney adviser Dan Senor told CNN.
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.co...kes-a-good-commander-in-chief/?iref=allsearch

While that's a good strategy for avoiding mistakes and not looking like a jerk (as lisa said), debates are about point scoring, so I don't think that tactic was a good idea. He may have succeeded in making himself look like a nicer guy, but a nice guys finish second. Bad idea.

Still, there is one possible angle for upside for him: if more people favored him in the debate than favored him vs Obama on foreign policy before the debate (and I think they did), it could still result in picking up votes.
 
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  • #25
russ_watters
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I'm sorry, but this doesn't seem like a good line of reasoning you're pursuing about the navy. Maybe there is a good line of reasoning somewhere, but you're going to to have to be more descriptive. "No one knows with any certainty what the future requirements will be for our military" is not an argument for why we would need a bigger navy in particular. That line of reasoning could apply equally to missile silos or helicopters, or military satellites.
Yes, it could apply universally. Aren't you arguing against your point?

The issue with saying our military is strong enough or technically advanced enough is that we have a duty to protect our soldiers, sailors and airmen as best we can and people have a low tolerance for watching them die unnecessarily (see the MRAP/Hummer story from the Gulf War). Now clearly, funding can't be infinite and not all wars are well chosen, but our forces need to be large enough to meet whatever goals we have -- and we should never stop advancing them technically.

Equally important is when to use them. I think our Navy is fine the way it is (sizewise), but when we don't even have the stones to use it to solve a relatively minor piracy problem, that's a historically unprecedented level of impotence.
 

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