A neighbor and I chatted a few minutes yesterday about the 2012 campaign. We were both wondering why superpower America was incapable of producing more inspiring leadership. And uninspiring is how last night's final presidential debate struck me. Scanning the online coverage this morning, I found the Christian Science Monitor most nearly agreed with my assessment of the 3rd round of exchanges between Obama and Romney. Without declaring a clear winner, staff writer Howard LaFranchi argues that both men appeared to have achieved their goals for the evenings:
President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney each used Monday night’s third and final debate to try to close the deal with a divided American electorate.
In a debate without any glaring gaffes and largely held in a more congenial tone than the combative encounter of last week, both men seemed to accomplish what they may have set out to do: Mr. Romney to come across as an acceptable commander in chief, Mr. Obama to portray a successful presidency while planting seeds of doubt about a challenger who recently has had the momentum.
While the debate’s theme was ostensibly foreign policy, both candidates time and again brought their answers back to the domestic economy, jobs, and who would do the better job of building an America for the 21st century.
“After a decade of war, I think we all recognize we have to do some nation-building at home,” Obama said more than once.
“I certainly don’t want to go back to the policies of the last four years,” Romney retorted. “It hasn’t worked.”\