Did Romney Blow the Election by Playing It Safe?
Mitt Romney still has an excellent chance to win this election. But if he loses, it will clearly come back to last night's debate.
President Obama did not win the debate on foreign policy last night. You can't really "win" a debate when your foreign and military policies are a mess: no security, no peace, no respect, no friends. He repeatedly lied about Romney's statements and record, as well as his own. Especially toward the end, the President again across as arrogant and condescending. (Which Romney, ever the gentleman, does not even when obviously mad.)
That all said, Mitt Romney played the debate last night like he was ahead in a football game, with the clock about to run out and his opponent had no timeouts left. He took multiple knees until running out of downs. Then got up to leave the field and the ref said to him: "It is October 22nd not November 2nd."
Commentators pretty much all agree - as I do - that it was obvious that the President behaved as if he was behind (or at least had lost the momentum) and that Romney behaved like the front runner who believed that first and foremost that he should not take risks.
As Thomas Dewey was told by the Taft people: "You have led us down this road to defeat before!"
Moderate Republicans far too often become obsessed with risk as opposed to reward. They again appear to have persuaded our Presidential candidate to sit on his lead. If Obama now starts into this "Truman come from behind" crap I am going to be completely sick to my stomach.
How does this type of thing happen? Why does fear of failure overcome the vital importance of winning? And how does the former head of Bain Capital fall into this trap?
Furthermore, it is arguable whether Romney has the lead. He had the momentum but Ohio and other key states are still difficult challenges. There was no "lead" to sit on.
Furthermore, the American people have a right to know his foreign policy. It was mush last night: a little Reagan (military), some Bush 41, some Bush 43, not much Cheney and not much Powell. These people didn't agree with each other: Romney didn't want to take sides. Not a good sign.
Obama is still Jimmy Carter II. Everything is still a mess. The American people appear to be waking up. But let's not kid ourselves: had this been the first debate, the election would have been completely over by now. Romney is much more Presidential than Obama, and more conservative, but he has plenty of flaws as well. We all got over-excited.
Now conservatives need to be realistic: this will not be easy. We just must slug it out.