Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Eye's of the Last Debate.

The last debate , 16 more days .

The Last Debate came . As I write this piece . I found Obama all charged up , while Romney took a slow less argument approach to the debate. Obama served up more Whoppers last night than Burger King did. Yes, Obama may have won the last debate , but he already is a leaking bucket .I couldn't stop looking at how much he was blinking also. He also had a look on his face like he was getting ready to pounce. For the first half of the debate, President Obama frequently looked down while he was speaking, while Governor Romney looked straight at the moderator and President Obama. He looked confident, comfortable in his skin, and on the ball. He did not falter in the least. President Obama, on the other hand, betrayed his mood with eyes, which frequently looked worried, angry, sometimes sad, or even a hint of haunted. Between Obama and Romney there is a great fact check problem . Obama held his own on Foreign Policy (why Benghazi wasn't brought up is beyond me), and Romney kept pelting him with the Economy (in which Obama had no real response if one at all).  Obama has plenty of flubbs and I caught a few since he did more of the speaking than Romney did .If a Republican had said the same thing Obama said, the media would mock him for equating horses and bayonets with the ships that the navy needs to project American power into future crisis points like the Straits of Hormuz or the Syrian coast. Perhaps Obama wouldn't have had to wait so long to intervene in Libya (prolonging the revolution there and giving more influence to the kind of violent armed militias that mounted the attack on the consulate in Benghazi) if the U.S. had had more ships in the Mediterranean.
(By the way, the Marine Corps -- or "Marine Corpse," as Obama once read it off his teleprompter -- recently spent over four million dollars buying 120,000 new bayonets, which, given the size of the American military before U.S. entry into WWI, is probably more than we had in 1916.) Fact checkers got a shout out Monday night from President Obama when he declared that Republican challenger Mitt Romney had repeated "the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign.""Every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, governor, has said this is not true," the president pointed out — correctly — during Monday's debate after Romney charged that Obama went on an "apology tour" during his first year in office.Indeed, Nile Gardiner, a foreign policy analyst with the the conservative Heritage Foundation, said Obama was definitely apologizing. He co-wrote an analysis on the topic: "Barack Obama's Top 10 Apologies: How the President Has Humiliated a Superpower.""Apologizing for your own country projects an image of weakness before both allies and enemies," Gardiner said. "It sends a very clear signal that the U.S. is to blame for some major developments on the world stage. This can be used to the advantage of those who wish to undermine American global leadership."John Murphy, a communications professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studies presidential rhetoric and political language. He said Obama used conciliatory language for diplomatic purposes, not apologizing."It's much more a sense of establishing of reciprocity," Murphy said. "Each side says, okay, we haven't done great, but we have a new president and we're going to make a fresh start and move forward. I don't think that's an apology." ** Another point about this debate is that Mitt Romney seemed to "agree " with Obama 47 % percent of the time . ( I am not kidding you! ). Here is an example : “We can’t kill out way out of this mess,” says Romney. “We must have a comprehensive strategy.” Few national security officials in either the Obama or the Bush administration would disagree, but their experience has showed that delivering that is fraught with complications operational and political, and ramping up drone attacks has been the tangible go-to option. Will Romney explain how his approach differs from either the Bush or Obama administrations? And how he would pay for them? Can Obama explain an approach that goes well beyond targeted killings to address a more diffuse terrorist threat? Mitt seemed to agree with the controversial drone attacks . Again  Romney seemed rather passive . Mitt Romney's tactical decision to tie himself as much as possible to President Barack Obama's foreign policy may have been a safe way to avoid making a major foreign policy gaffe. But it also had the added effect of angering a whole bunch of conservatives, from the far right of the spectrum to the center, who wanted him to present a robust contrast with Obama.


 ** She said Obama's words fell short of an apology, mostly because he didn't use the words "sorry" or "regret." "I think to make an effective apology, the words 'I'm sorry' or 'we're sorry' always have to be there," Bloom said.

Obama's remarks were really non-apologies, and they're not good in business or personal relationships, Bloom said. The one area where they can be useful: international diplomacy.

"Gov. Romney is trying to appeal to the inner John Wayne of his readers, and that has a certain emotional appeal," Bloom said. "For the rest of us, a level assessment of less-than-perfect human behavior is perfectly reasonable."

 We spoke with Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, a professor who tracked international human rights issues via the website Political Apologies and Reparations. Many of the apologies in the database relate to genocide or slavery.

"To say the United States will not torture is not an apology, it is a statement of intent," Howard-Hassman said. "A complete apology has to acknowledge something was wrong, accept responsibility, express sorrow or regret and promise not to repeat it."

Obama's Cairo address in particular was a means of reaching out to the Islamic world, not an acknowledgement of wrongdoing, she said.

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