Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Head over to Le Monde where I signed an op-ed published today detailing the candidates' showings at last night's second presidential debate.

Obama emerged the winner. He quickly established a narrative for Romney (out-of-touch rich elitist) from which Romney did not escape; situated his critiques of Romney within this framework; and hammered home on concerns of both his base and undecided voters (47% video, immigration, auto bailout, health insurance). Disappointly, Obama focused more on attacking his opponent than on developing a real vision for a second term.

Despite Romney's at-times poignant attacks on Obama's economic record, he ended the night on an unfortunate blunder on foreign policy. This is an important misstep for a candidate who has recently expanded his criticism of Obama to include foreign policy, an area where voters and Obama himself have clear confidence in the president. Heading into the next weeks of campaigning and into the last debate (on foreign policy), Romney has opened the door for Obama to boast his national security achievements, remind voters of Romney's recent foreign policy gaffes, exploit the gaps and inconsistencies in Romney's foreign policy positions, and cast doubt on the Republican's ability to act as commander-in-chief.

Click here to read the op-ed in French (via Le Monde)