By Amber Qalagari Columnist
Apparently Obama didn’t get the memo; Monday night was a presidential debate not a stand-up comedy debut. The incumbent came equipped for the final presidential debate at Lynn University with a series of one-liners and seemed to leave the facts at home. I guess when you rely on a foreign policy of “leading from behind” you have to compensate for your cowardice by being insulting and snarky, like that’s what voters want.
The debate’s topic was American foreign policy focusing on the military. Mitt Romney brought up a legitimate issue that our Navy is at it’s smallest since 1917. The Navy has barely enough ships to carry out their missions now and if America goes through any more budget cuts the navy will be drastically downsized.
The President responded, “I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time studying how our military works...we have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.” Typical Obama, responding to facts with a childish pointed finger. This unfounded snide remark comes from the man who referred to the Ambassador Chris Stevens’s death as merely, “Not optimal.” But, Marines are still trained with bayonets and even issue them as a standard weapon. I’m beginning to think maybe the President is the one who hasn’t spent enough time studying how our military works.
Obama said he has learned “as Commander in Chief.” We should all hope so considering when he was first elected he thought Iran was incapable of attaining nuclear weapons. At least he now acknowledges they might be a threat.
When the discussion turned to Romney’s concerns for a resurgent Russia, Obama joked it off, “the 1980’s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” I didn’t realize being a Community Organizer gives Obama the position to criticize someone else’s foreign policy. Romney said, “I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin. And I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election,” referring to Obama’s controversial off-the-mic remark to Mr. Putin.
Romney responded respectfully to Obama’s outlandish insults throughout the debate, “Attacking me is not talking about how we’re going to deal with the challenges that exist in the Middle East, and take advantage of the opportunity there, and stem the tide of this violence.” Every time the moderator said the word “president”, I had to remind myself he wasn’t referring to Romney, the one actually acting presidential.
It’s a shame Romney is being criticized for something Obama lacks: professionalism. Debates are meant to discuss prevalent issues and inform citizens on where each candidate stands. They are not televised boxing matches, where the biggest insult results in victory. Obama was far too aggressive; almost Biden-like, but at least he wasn’t maniacally snickering. Well at least not the entire time. Regardless of who won, the debate revealed each candidate’s character when faced with opposition. Romney was informed, clear and controlled. Obama was abrasive, inaccurate, and frankly not presidential. Throw all the tantrums you want Mr. President, but Mr. Romney is ready to take the job of president seriously.