Romney Sweats Through Debate; But Guess Who Didn’t Get Mentioned?

At the final presidential candidate debate, on Monday night, Mitt Romney pulled off one of the great political metamorphoses of our time. He turned himself into his opponent. For 90 minutes, Romney spoke about how much he agreed with Barack Obama‘s foreign policy. The main difference: Romney will be louder.

Foreign policy was never going to be the strong suit of a former one-term governor, but too often during the debate, Romney sounded a lot like he was speaking phonetically, without any understanding of the words coming out of his mouth. Really, Mali? How many votes did that win among undecided voters in Akron? The goal was to look and sound presidential. But on that score, Obama clearly had Romney beat, and not just because he is president and has to know about Mali. Obama was able to stress that he’s established a successful direction in foreign policy and will keep to it. (If he could make the same argument for the economy, he wouldn’t be in such a tight race.) And he made Romney an example of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of his anger.

More to the point, Obama took the game to Romney again, as he did in the second debate. Romney seemed to be laboring under a “do no harm” clause in his debate contract. His attack on events in Libya, that was so disastrous for him last time out? Missing. Withdrawal from Afghanistan? “The surge has been successful, and the training program is proceeding at pace.” Drones? Mitt loves ’em.

How well this sudden moderation will play with the shariah-fearing right in the GOP remains to be seen. But when Romney did try to go on the offensive, he left himself wide open to attack. The most noteworthy example was Romney’s attempt to characterize the current U.S. Navy as roughly a couple of buckets and a rubber duck short of the World War I fleet. This prompting Obama, in a witheringly condescending response, to inform Romney that we aren’t using as many bayonets and horses either because of these wondrous new inventions like submarines.

Romney didn’t seem to be able to recover from these verbal assaults, and as the debate wore on, he began to acquire a Nixonian sheen from sweat.  By the end, he looked like Obama did at the end of the first debate–like a man who would rather be undergoing an experimental orthodontic procedure than sitting on the stage where he was.

Will the debate matter much? Probably not. It’s not 2004, where foreign policy was front and center. That’s why Romney kept trying to talk about the economy. But really, was it too much to expect a question about DADT during a foreign policy debate? Republicans have characterized it as a national security issue, so it wouldn’t have been that much of a stretch. It wouldn’t have hurt Barack to mention it either in his litany of praise for the troops. No such luck, though.

In a debate, it seems some things aren’t worth talking about. Clearly, we’re one of them.



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  • hyhybt

    Why would DADT come up? It’s a thoroughly settled issue: even before its demise, an overwhelming majority of the population was against it, and the remaining ones have pretty well given over after seeing all the disaster that didn’t follow and recognizing the mess trying to put it back in place once people are out would make. The only exceptions are far to the right of anywhere Romney’s been, and he’s trying to move the other direction.

    There’s just not anything to ask about.

  • Avenger

    LOL Queerty, you’re like that awkward teenage girl who wants desperately to be noticed. Despite how much the gay community has tried to hijack the election and make it all about their “equality” and whatnot, for the rest of the world it’s been about ECONOMY and FOREIGN POLICY…not how well the candidates like gays and support their right to marry. You already had an election (Bush/Kerry ’04) where gay marriage and other gay-related issues were forefront. Did you like how that one turned out? LOL! Give it a rest. Not everything is about you.

    BTW, CNN analysts are saying that Romney and his camp intentionally threw this debate to come off more likable. 24% of people polled said that the debates will make them vote for Obama, 25% said that it’ll make them vote for Romney and 50% said neither/undecided. So it all boils down to Ohio’s undecideds…where Romney is making headway! :D

  • FStratford

    DADT’s abolition is already established case law. There’s no need to debate it. Unless you want to bring it back?

  • FStratford


    Yes. Gay issues will definitely be in the forefront in this election and will assure that MD WA MN and ME will always be blue from now on.

  • 2eo

    Romney come over as a clueless xenophobe, who just threw ideas at Obama without any semblance of knowledge or legitimate knowledge over any of his standpoints.

    This was a great showing and I’m very glad, as are the vast majority of intelligent people all over the globe, we’re watching and hoping America votes with their brains and with the facts and not their racism and introspective god complexes.

    Vote Obama, if you want to get through the recession and help the world move forward, we need him for another term. It is that simple and clear cut.

  • Lefty

    @Avenger: “CNN analysts are saying that Romney and his camp intentionally threw this debate to come off more likable.”

    Haha! That’s great.

  • krazy

    Other than marriage bans in certain states I’m relieved we aren’t mentioned. I don’t have to listen to self-righteous pricks taking a “stand” against it to garner votes.

    Should they discuss African American issues or Jewish issues? Why didn’t they address this? The reason we weren’t mentioned is simple. No one cares. We have much BIGGER issues to worry about.

    Also we have made huge advances during Bam’s term. Yet it’s all about marriage equality. I could care less about the damn word as long as all benefits are equal. I would imagine most gay people don’t care either. Gay marriage is revolting and everyone knows this but won’t admit it.

    Marriage will take care of itself as more straight people don’t want to seem prejudiced. I overheard someone on a train talking about it. She said “I don’t understand OCD but I wouldn’t want to impose religious beliefs to discriminate against those people.”

    And there you have it, they hold their nose and pretend to support it but they do not see our relationships as equal even while supporting it. Isn’t it really about our precious egos and making sure everyone pretends to see us as equal. In the end our love isn’t enough we need the stamp of approval to justify it. News flash: It will never happen.

    If we got everything we wanted it wouldn’t be enough as gays would find something to moan about.

  • Niall

    Why would a LGBT question come up on this debate? The best chance that kinda question had was in the 2nd debate and unfortunately, it didn’t happen.

  • starshipcaptain

    Veterans were another sizeable group Romney failed to mention (although the President did mention them). Given that the focus of last night’s debate was foreign affairs, I’d think that would be the more egregious omission. Unless by foreign affairs Queerty would like to complain that bi-national (and did somebody say “serodiscordant”?) couples weren’t mentioned either.

  • alterego1980

    If you were really hoping fo rand looking for a Glbt question, it would have come in the 2nd debate of in the VP debate when they were all over the map on topics. You’re certainly not going to get it at a foreign policy debate.
    Also, I think the candidates are clear on their stances on equality. I’m sure the moderator’s felt there were other questions that needed to be answered where the candidates needed to clarify their positions and draw new contrasts. And frankly, those are the questions i want to hear most.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Avenger: Heh, heh, heh… you feel quite safe and snuggly in that little cave of yours, don’t you?! When you come out for air and sunlight, your strawmuppet Romney will be running for his life o win a Senate seat again and he’ll lose that too. President Obama and Co. is a shing example as to why this country is, and will be, well on the road to recovery. Jus’ sayin’, Sunshine!

  • starshipcaptain

    GLBT’s are just like climate change. Climate change wasn’t mentioned in the any of this year’s debates either. We’re moving backwards in the national political discourse on an issue that will affect all of us. Adversely.

Comments are closed.