The days and hours are ticking down to Election Day in November but this Monday (10/22/2012) will bring us the final Presidential Debate between President Obama and Governor Romney. The topic will be foreign policy and you can better believe every other word out of Governor Romney’s mouth will be “Benghazi” and/or “Libya.” Perhaps mix in a little “Fast and Furious” and you have a recipe for the expected topics. On the other hand, President Obama will probably mention the death of Osama Bin Laden and his particular part in that death, as he well should. Of course, the Middle East, I expect, will dominate a lot of the discussion along with China and the fiscal situation in the European Union.
Report from The Guardian on the final debate prep:
Barack Obama is scheduled to fly to the Camp David presidential retreat near Washington later for three days of seclusion to prepare for the third and final debate with Mitt Romney on Monday as polls suggest the race remains too close to call.
Obama and Romney swapped jokes at a charity event in New York on Thursday night but there will be few jokes on Monday at the debate in Boca Raton, Florida, an encounter devoted to foreign affairs.
The president had enjoyed high approval ratings in foreign affairs until recently, mainly as a result of the killing on his watch of Osama bin Laden. But the Republicans see the president as vulnerable over the assault on the US consulate in Benghazi that left the US ambassador and three other Americans dead.
Obama’s 2008 Republican presidential opponent John McCain took the president to task yesterday/Friday, over his choice of words during an interview on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show on Thursday night in which he oddly referred to the deaths as “not optimal”.
“The optimal line, of course, is very regrettable and makes me a little sad,” McCain told Fox.
Obama used the description in response to a question from Stewart, who was the first to use the word “optimal”.
Some other topics, according to the story:
As well as Libya, Obama and Romney are set to argue over Iran, Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Obama administration officials have hinted that Obama, in his second term, with no election to be fought, would be braver in tackling the Israeli-Palestinian issue, which, like Tony Blair, he views as a source of friction in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim world.
On Iran and Syria, Romney and Obama are not particularly far apart in terms of policy, despite Romney sounding more bellicose than Obama on both issues.
This will be hard-fought discussion on Monday I imagine with the President hoping to reverse the recent trend showing the polls heading positively toward Governor Romney.