Obama vs. Romney: Round 3

Monday, 22 October, 2012

Here we go. The final round and it’s even-Steven on this judge’s card. Rainy Day got it somewhat right on the first round, in that Mitt Romney came out swinging for the KO, but we erred on the second round by counting out President Obama before the bell had sounded. This means that the third round, which takes place tonight at Lynn University in Boca Raton in Florida, will be decisive.

So, what can we expect? Libya, for starters, with Romney sure to seize on the Obama administration’s “confusion” about what exactly happened during the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi last month that killed the US Ambassador and three other Americans. Iran, Syria and the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be up there, too. On Iran and Syria, the two differ less in terms of policy than in tone, with Romney sounding more combative on both issues. When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian question, Romney will hit Obama hard on what many see as the president’s lukewarm support for the only democracy in the Middle East. To counter this, some White House officials have been preparing the ground by hinting that Obama, in his second term, free of re-election concerns, would be bolder in tackling the Israeli-Palestinian problem, which he regards as the central source of friction in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world.

Europe? In the first debate, Romney warned voters of dark days to come by holding up the example of Spain and he followed up with Greece in the second debate. But neither will probably want to say much about Europe, which is transfixed by its own perplexing navel. China is a different story: “China must be discouraged from attempting to intimidate or dominate neighboring states,” says Romney and his characterization of Russia as the primary foe of the US is sure to be aired. Asked last week about his key debate points for tonight, Obama jokingly said, “Spoiler alert. We got bin Laden.”

This will be hard-fought debate. Naturally, the Obama-supporting media will be hoping for a Romney “gaffe”, but that’s a risky bet. Seeing that Romney won Round 1 decisively and Obama got a split decision in Round 2, the safest option for Round 3 is a draw but with the polls showing that the match is tied already, the “heroes”, as Pierce Egan, the Keats and Shelly of pugilism, would call them, cannot afford to rest on the ropes. Seconds out!

boxing match

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