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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Third Presidential Debate - Open Forum

The debate will air live at 9:00pm tonight on all major networks. 

The final presidential debate is supposed to center on foreign policy.

Pre-debate questions:

- Who do you predict will win? 
- Will Obama continue with his aggressive approach?
- Will Mitt Romney be able to unseat Obama's "successes"?

After the debate:

- Who won? 
- Did this debate sway your vote?
- Who do you think will win the election?

After the debate, join me and the usual crew on The 405 Live at 10:30pm EST tonight for our special post debate show!  The show is hosted by @johng405. Listen at the following link:

Call in at 877-297-8022 to give your take on the presidential debate. Jump on the air and join us in the fun! As always, feedback on the segment is greatly appreciated. 


  1. I think Obama will edge slightly higher in the foreign policy debate because it sounds cool to say "I got Bin Laden" and that's what Americans will fall for. Overall, it won't matter much though. And I will be listening to the post debate show. You killed it on the last one. I enjoy want you have to say, LME. You're pretty much the only person out there talking sense.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, MN 4 Rick! I think we all do a good job on the show. I can see where you're coming from on the debate... I'm going to be more silent on this one since foreign policy isn't my strong suit.

  2. This was a very good moderator, and the most productive and respectful debate. Very well-controlled and fair, and pivoted through questions fluently.

    I will say that Mitt came into this debate with a major disadvantage, because he can't distance himself from Obama on the topic of foreign policy very effectively without losing voters. Moderate/'undecided' voters are not going to be won over on a significantly more aggressive foreign policy, which frankly would mean war at this point (at at least, a commitment of more troops). So by not being able to distance himself from Obama's policies and future plans, he will be at a disadvantage.

    Some feelings on the topics. I’m writing this as I watch.

    On Libya:
    Both made some good points, I might even say Mitt did slightly better in this question. Though he failed to capitalize on the point in the last debate about the delay in discovering the motives of the attack, but he probably wanted to avoid bringing that up once more since it may be associated with the combative instance about the quote.

    On Syria:
    They both basically said the same thing in different ways. It's tragic, work with allies in the region, carefully arm the opposition. This ultimately hurts Romney though, as he failed to really differentiate himself from the president or point out a weakness. Having practically the same (or at least, very similar) view is essentially implying the POTUS is doing a good job and currently taking the right course of action. Not the message you want to send!

    On Egypt:
    Again, Mitt agreed with Obama's policies. Which hurts him. But Mitt effectively pivoted to a topic about the economy and how it ties into our national security, which Obama didn’t address as well.

    On global policy:
    Too much time talking about the economy. I can appreciate the importance of it and the point, and even how it ties in to our global strength... but this is the foreign policy debate and it was foreign policy question. Both lacked real substance in specific foreign policy strategies, but to me Mitt in particular lost here; his main points fall on us maintaining poor relations with allies (I can't honestly agree, and I've never seen any reasonable evidence to this) and our enemies growing stronger (again, previous). Even if people disagree with me, the fact that it can very well be debated makes it a weaker point (as opposed to it being tough to argue against).

    The pivot to the state of our military, I admit I have bias here as I don't believe in expanding the military just for the sake of expanding it... So I agree with Obama, and also feel he made better points. But I subject that my thoughts here are completely biased.

    On Israel:
    Mitt once more came out the gate agreeing with Obama, and in my view failed to show a strong argument for his policy and/or against Obama. Both argued for strong sanctions, Mitt only tried to emphasize 'stronger sanctions!' Not a strong differentiation.

    And both just repeated, over and over, we will stand by Israel and not like them get a nuke.

    I didn't like Mitt avoiding the hypothetical question, and Obama thereafter. Yes, hypothetical and unlikely, but the rule of the debate is you answer the questions of the moderator. Saying no because you don't like the question is a bit silly. This is about tough questions. I don't think it was a good question, but I still think it is important to answer.

    Mitt was far more aggressive on this question than the others though, where as earlier it was mostly Obama on the attack on Mitt Romney’s past views and judgements.

    1. On Afghan:
      Again, Mitt essentially agreed with Obama’s current policy on Afghan. Though, Mitt did add in an agenda for Pakistan as a tie-in, that I believed to be effective. Obama did not address this at all, which I believe was to his fault. Obama didn’t exactly address the question, though his stance is obvious, but I don’t feel his response was very strong. Some good points, but not enough. Mitt’s response on Pakistan was very thorough and well-put.

      But then, Mitt said he agrees 100% with Obama on drone use. Though, he pivoted back to Pakistan well enough and made good points about that and the overall global policy. Obama’s response was lacking in addressing Mitt’s specific points.

      Obama had a well-rounded answer, but didn’t have specific/concrete enough points. Mitt’s initial response was much stronger, specific, and well-said. His ideas are far more aggressive, which is questionable territory, but very fair and bold. Obama’s rebuttle to this, to me, wasn’t very effective. Defended his record, very general/ambigious about his stance and future policies. Obama floundered in shifting it to Romney’s investments in China, Detriot and the car industry once again. Not strong points and avoided details of the topic.

      Mitt did far better on this topic, through to the end that pivoted into final comments. Obama made some stronger points later, but too little too late.

      Final Words:
      Battle of who can get in the most talking points in 2 minutes. Nothing special to see here.

      Overall, I think they both did very well and Mitt in particular did well despite his disadvantage. Obama’s points on some topics lacked substance, but at the same time he was far more aggressive and probably got more ‘zingers.’ He also does have a solid foreign policy to run on, that Mitt didn't do well in his attempts to discredit it.

      But, Mitt also was more specific in his points, though ultimately agreed a bit too much with the president. On the other hand, he came across very presidential, intelligent, and had some very well-thought points and rebuttals.

      I can’t say there’s a very clear victor here, I think that declarations of who won this debate will mostly fall to bias or more subjective analysis of what the most important points were in the debate.

      On a somewhat separate note.

      I have to wonder that as someone that defined himself as ‘extremely conservative’, and with a Republican Party that was very recently passionately behind McCain and his very clearly aggressive stance on foreign policy... Do Republicans honestly agree with Mitt’s policy and the way he defined himself tonight?

      He gave an incredibly moderate outlook on foreign policy in this debate; far more than even necessary to avoid going at odds with middle-ground voters. Major themes of his arguments being peace, war as a last resort (different from Ryan’s position in the VP debate), keeping troops out of other nations, criticizing our use of force to take out specific leaders of Al Qaeda while at the same time calling for increased military spending. The only thing very conservative about Mitt’s stance this evening was increased military spending; that’s truly about it. I find this very contradictory to not just the philosophies Mitt expressed in the past, but the typical stance of the Republican party.

      Am I missing something, or did the GOP suddenly not become a party that had a high approval rating of McCain’s incredibly aggressive policies?

      I mean, if this is truly the new face of the GOP, I’m glad. This is one of my biggest issues, and it’s what dissuades me from leaning to the right. But I don’t think that’s really the case here.

      I'm curious how others here feel about that.

    2. As a conservative, which btw John McCain is most definitely NOT, I think Romney's 'outlook on foreign policy' closely aligns with my own. Personally, I voted not FOR McCain - who I considered to be a VERY weak and TOTALLY unacceptable candidate - in the last election, but AGAINST Obama, who I considered to be MORE unacceptable - an Alynski type socialist radical.

      Romney's main theme is/was Peace through Strength and he rightly said that we basically need to get our OWN economy back on track to insure that. I think of it this way: The jackals do NOT go after the healthy buffalo... they seek out the weak and the lame. America's current economy places us in that second category.

      He (again rightly, IMO) said that we 'can't kill our way out' of the mess Obama has made in the Middle East/North Africa. He said, out loud, that we need to help the people of those countries to stomp out RADICAL Islam - an ACCURATE term Obama has REFUSED to use for the past four years.

      Romney has NOT called for 'increased military spending' - what he HAS called for is NOT decimating what we have now. Maintaining our troops and equipment sustains American jobs as well.

      Ryan is NOT running for Pres, but his WAS a 'war as last resort' stance w/regard to Iran. Sorry, but AJ (can't spell his name : )is just plain crazy; he's stated that he'll 'wipe Israel off the map'; there shouldn't be a doubt in ANYONE's mind, IF/WHEN he's able - he WILL strike Israel, who Obama has abandoned.

      The GOP that 'had a high approval rating of McCain's incredibly aggressive policies' were, for the most part, the RINO's that the Tea Party (that you so dislike) have sought to remove from office. To my knowledge there are MANY more of us who are Reagan type 'Peace through Strength' 'fiscal responsibility' conservatives.

      So - If you SHOULD decide to 'lean right' - welcome aboard! : )

    3. Glad you are on a similar page. :)

      Some on the right seem to be rather upset with Mitt on this, one of which being:

      Somewhat surprising for him to call him out so directly.

    4. Hey all!

      I'm sooooo busy this week, but I did want to respond to the issue of Mitt agreeing with Obama.

      Frankly, I was very impressed by this. In the face of what might not be politically popular, if your opponent does something good, and you feel it is right, being a man and a leader and agreeing with him, even if it turns off your buddies, is bold. Though I wish everyone was like me and the whole world was conservative, bipartisanship is a good thing. I agree with the opposite side when I feel they are right, and for Mitt to do this, in my opinion, showed the traits of a true leader.

      Sadly, I might not get to write much of anything this week. I do hope to chat more soon!

    5. @RKen - I saw that last night. This morning on his radio show, Beck walked it back a bit, stating that he'd pretty much figured out why the Governor didn't go on the attack re: Libya, GM outsourcing, etc. (like he and so many other 'righties' thought he should)

      A couple of Romney's 'agreements' irked me, not for the content, so much as the childish response from Obama when he did it. I'd have given up even trying - which is but ONE reason I could never run for office... LOL

      That said, I believe it's the better man who admits to agreement with his opponent - even though their entire platforms might otherwise conflict. In four years, I've not see this trait in Obama.

      My take: The information about ALL of that is out there to see - for all who choose to look. The facts have been checked and re-checked and the lies exposed. Someone said: 'You can't handle the truth.' Which (IMO) applies to those who feel they MUST continue to force themselves to believe in the Hope and the Change.

      Those who have hitched their wagons to the 'star' they call Obama are lost and do NOT want to know the truth... I don't know if it's selective hearing/sight or what, but it's late in the cycle so....I've moved on.