The third and final presidential debate was a much-anticipated showdown on foreign policy, and struck me as very different in many ways from the previous debates.
Now, a caveat: I will be posting links to stories that incorporate polling, numbers, and fact-checking. I will also be discussing and linking to discussion on "winners and losers" from last night. As I have said in the past, I do not necessarily believe that these are 100% accurate, but they are used for the purposes of showing the mood and overall view taken by media about this debate.
From my perspective, it was an interesting clash, mostly due to its complete lack of major clashes. Obama and Romney largely seemed to agree on most foreign policy issues. There were a few points where it seemed Romney was trying to create distance between himself and the POTUS, as if trying to create a unique platform for himself. Neither advocated hawkish approaches to foreign policy, which was refreshing.
Now to the outcomes. I will say that I saw a tie in this debate. Both candidates held themselves well, stayed on point for the first half at least, and neither was more outstanding in their mannerisms than the other. On substance, because they were so similar, I feel it's hard to peg a winner as well.
That hasn't stopped other from doing that, and it's interesting how wide the spectrum of responses has been. Huffington Post puts it one way, while The Blaze puts it another. Of Course, Huffington Post is making their assertions based on polling, while The Blaze is relying on the opinions of one person. Fox News, for their part, did not come out and endorse a winner, but did do some minor fact-checking following the debate.
Huffington Post, interestingly, points out that because the policy positions are so close, that the outcome should be decided on style. They cite Obama's command of the discussion, and Romney's unwillingness to respond to Obama's criticisms, as evidence of an Obama win. Krauthammer, speaking for The Blaze article, seems to think that Obama was a bully in this debate and that Romney was more presidential, which is an interesting perspective to take. As usual, I recommend reading the comments, who clearly favor Romney (though not all of them), and who also believe Obama was being unfair.
UPDATE: As usual, the hyperpartisan pundits have come out with more trash talk. Ann Coulter, who can't seem to stay out of trouble, posted a tweet that referred to the POTUS as a "retard." Now, I'm no expert, but it seems to me that name-calling is not a very good way to continue political discourse. As usual, there are those willing to defend such a statement, which I'll let you read in the comments.