HEMPSTEAD, NY - OCTOBER 16: U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama (Top-L) listens as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall style debate at Hofstra University October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York. During the second of three presidential debates, the candidates fielded questions from audience members on a wide variety of issues. Credit: Getty Images
So the second presidential debate is now in the history books. What to make of the lastest duel?
Leftists are rejoicing because President Obama showed up with a pulse this time. But Mitt Romney showed up with one too, and both men engaged in a spirited thrust and parry that was both enlightening and entertaining.
Obama ran away as fast as he could from the most disastrous aspects of his record: high unemployment, Libya, Fast and Furious. But Romney missed some real opportunities to deliver a TKO to Obama--especially on the administration's Libyan cover-up lies and Obama's failure to address the issue of Fast and Furious at all.
But the two biggest statements of the night defined each of their candidacies. First, in the context of Libya, Obama finally said that the buck stops with him. This was a calculated move to try to look like a real leader, rescuing Hillary Clinton from "taking responsibility" for the security failures that led to four dead Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador and two former Navy SEALs. But if he really means that the "buck stops" with him and that he "takes responsibility," then he must "take responsibility" for EVERYTHING that has happened under his watch, including:
- Record-breaking unprecedented spending, leading to...
- The 16 Trillion in debt
- Annual trillion dollar-plus deficits
- 23 million+ people out of work, stopped looking for work, or underemployed
- 47 million people on food stamps
- 15 million people living in poverty
- Highly unpopular socialized medicine that is already breaking the bank
- Destructive class warfare and unprecedented divisions among race, class, gender, and age lines
- A foreign policy in collapse, leading to the rise of the Islamists across the Middle East, four dead Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, Russia and China running wild, and an Iran ever-closer to a nuclear weapon
The buck stops with you, Obama, as you said. How about "taking responsibility" for ALL of the above?
Romney's defining statement actually won the debate for him. He had one simple message, stated with Reaganesque clarity: "We don't have to settle for this. We don't have to live like this."
Indeed, we don't. The power to change it rests with us. And Romney made that abundantly clear.
And with that, he won.