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from The Great Debate:

Why ‘peace’ was catchphrase in presidential debate

Foreign policy attempted to take center stage at the presidential debate Monday evening but failed resoundingly. For the candidates agreed to agree on a number of key issues -- the timeline for ending America’s longest war, support for Israel, and the importance of diplomacy and sanctions in Iran. Nation-building at home trumped nation-building abroad, and small business won as many mentions from the nominees as the death of Osama bin Laden. It was no accident that the contenders talked about teachers more than Libya.

What both President Barack Obama and his GOP challenger Mitt Romney made clear to a nation exhausted by one decade of two bloody wars: The era of big military interventions is over. Romney, who earlier in the campaign sounded poised to embrace a more activist foreign policy, embraced a loudly centrist worldview that eschewed saber-rattling in favor of promoting entrepreneurship and civil society.

“Peaceful” was the night’s catchphrase for Romney, who told the president, “we can’t kill our way out of this mess.” This key word is likely to resonate with the women voters his campaign now sees as both critical to victory and open to his more centrist message.

“Let me step back and talk about what I think our mission has to be in the Middle East and even more broadly, because our purpose is to make sure the world is more -- is peaceful,” Romney said in answer to a question about Egypt. “We want a peaceful planet. We want people to be able to enjoy their lives and know they’re going to have a bright and prosperous future, not be at war.”

from The Great Debate:

On the road to parity, where is the real debate?

At Tuesday’s debate, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney offered glimmers of proof that when it comes to women’s economic parity, he takes a solidly conservative approach. However, in appealing to social conservatives, Romney’s personal stance may have been solidified at the expense of a host of real issues facing women. What Romney thinks of these, we do not yet know.

A question from a woman in the Town Hall-style audience asked specifically what each candidate would do about the fact that women currently earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. President Obama offered a cursory reference to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – heralded as one of his first great policy accomplishments, and one that addressed women’s economic issues.

from The Great Debate:

Chasing the Reagan Legacy

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, like so many Republicans today, continually try to grab onto Ronald Reagan’s legacy and call it theirs. They might know my father’s politics -- but they didn’t know the man.

After the first Republican presidential debate last September at the Reagan Library, I wrote a piece for Time.com about how all the candidates seek to stuff themselves into my father’s image. Ironic, since he never tried to imitate anyone.

from The Great Debate:

Why it’s all about Obama

President Barack Obama may have lost the first debate the minute he appeared on stage in Denver.  Just by showing up, he changed the terms of the campaign.  Viewers immediately saw the election as a referendum on the president.  The decision became whether to fire him or rehire him.

This was bound to happen sooner or later.  It always happens when an incumbent is running for reelection.  Until the Oct. 3 debate, Democrats had made a vigorous, and mostly successful, effort to turn the election into a choice rather than a referendum: Which guy do you like better -- Obama or Mitt Romney?

from Breakingviews:

Nine answers that should win the White House

By Daniel Indiviglio and Antony Currie
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

 

President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney finally face off in their first presidential debate on Wednesday evening. With domestic policy as the theme, the two are likely to be challenged to outline their policies for fixing the economy. Breakingviews concocts the nine answers we’d like to hear - ones that could win either candidate the White House in November.

from Tales from the Trail:

First Republican presidential debate planned for next spring

Okay here we go again. Now that the 2010 elections are behind us, it's time to start looking ahead to 2012. And so today we have former first lady Nancy Reagan GERALD FORDannouncing plans to invite Republican candidates to the first presidential debate. It's to be held next spring at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California.

Setting up the first debate could have the net effect of forcing some would-be candidates who are sitting back and testing the political winds to go ahead and make a decision on whether they will run. We're talking about you, Sarah Palin.

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