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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How Obama Handed the Debate to Romney

President Obama handed the debate to challenger Mitt Romney on a silver platter, and few noticed it happening. Pundits debated the finer points and kept count of  body and face blows. They were looking for signs of a technical knockout and missed the fact that Obama lowered his guard for an upper cut that left him dazed on the canvass.  When he was led to his corner, he still did not know what had happened.

This was to be a debate on foreign policy – Obama’s supposed strength. Instead, it turned into a replay of earlier debates on the economy —Obama’s weak suit, and Obama fell into the trap.

Some  trivia enthusiast needs to do a word count, but I reckon about one quarter of the debate was on the American economy with Romney on the attack and Obama on the defensive. The foreign policy context opened the door: Without a strong economy, America cannot have a strong foreign policy.

In watching focus groups after the debate, that is exactly the point viewers took home: Obama gave us a weak economy and thus weakened us in  the international arena. Romney promises to fix our economy. He has a plan, so it is time for a change. The message is as simple as Johnny Cochrane’s “If the glove don’t fit, acquit:” Romney: “Weak economy equals weak foreign policy. Fire Obama.”

In a huge tactical blunder, Obama himself  interjected the economy into what was supposed to be a foreign policy debate:



go to forbes.com

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