Yes, Obama "won." I put that in quotes because common wisdom says that beyond having their children returned to them in body bags, Americans are pretty much divorced from what is happening in the rest of the world, and debates on foreign policy are, unfortunately, not that important to them. Unless there are body bags involved. This isolationist posture is extremely problematic because in this global economy financial crises in Europe will always impinge on America's economic health, and yet most Americans seem oblivious to this. I have yet to see any candidate say, yes, our economy is shit, however, it's much better currently than most economies, and, frankly, it's not going to get a whole hell of a lot better until Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal get their frigging acts together. No one says that. But from everything I've read, that seems to be the low down. If you have a third of your trading partners in the financial crapper, then who are you going to sell to? The trade deficit is held hostage by the financial meltdown overseas, and no matter how much wand waving Romney et al. can do, there is only so MUCH they can do. Except move money around, which is what they love to do anyway. Sigh. Anyway, Americans tend to only care about Americans. What happens in those other countries, pfft!
Regarding Romney's performance? Sadly, I think this is the real Romney. And equally sadly this is the Romney that we rarely have seen in the entire year he's been on the campaign trail. Romney could have saved himself a whole lot of trouble by just using his two minutes to say, "Me, too!" Which is not a bad thing. His political career has been characterized by a general middle-of-the-road approach to most issues, and we probably would have seen a lot more of this Mitt had his party not been hijacked by extremists.
This does bring up the issue of integrity. And how he felt he had to sell his soul temporarily to the extreme wing of his party. And how Obama's constant hammering of him on his flip-flops actually does have some merit. I don't know if there is a real Romney. It's hard to tell at this point. I think this was the real Romney last night, but then again, he has shown that he is extremely vulnerable to machination of politics. Does this mean that he will constantly cave to the extreme wing of his party in order to get their cooperation as he has done this entire campaign? The man who has touted his ability to work with Democrats in his state, doesn't he realize that the people he might not be able to work with are from his OWN party. That he will, in essence, be in the same position that John Boehner has been in for the last two years? And what will he do in that situation, should he become president? Will he cave to them like he has done in the last two years of his campaign?
I'm truly curious.