Every time you've offered an opinion, you've been wrong. -- President Barack Obama, to Mitt Romney, during the final 2012 presidential debate
Syria is Iran's path to the sea. -- Mitt Romney (The two countries don't share a border & Iran has about 1,500 miles of coastline.)
Obama's bin Laden. -- Bob Schieffer
David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post: "President Obama seemed to use the authority of his office to put ... Mitt Romney on his heels in their final presidential debate Monday night, telling Romney he didn't understand foreign-policy problems as well as he does." The New York Times report, by Peter Baker & Helene Cooper, is here.
... The full transcript is here, via the Washington Post.
How Obama delivers a prepared zinger -- and perhaps the only memorable lines from the foreign policy debate. It was nice of Romney to provide the set-up:
NEW. Amy Davidson of the New Yorker has an entertaining take on the debate. Read to the end. ...
... NEW. John Cassidy's assessment is more detailed.
Joe Klein of Time: "President Obama won the foreign policy debate, cleanly and decisively, on both style and substance. It was as clear a victory as Mitt Romney's in the first debate. And Romney lost in similar fashion: he seemed nervous, scattered, unconvincing -- and he practiced unilateral disarmament, agreeing with Obama hither and yon -- on Iraq (as opposed to two weeks ago), on Afghanistan (as opposed to interviews he's given this fall), on Libya and Syria and Iran. He didn't have a single creative or elegantly stated foreign policy thought and, indeed, seemed foolish at times, using the word peace about as often as George McGovern in 1972 (not that McGovern was foolish, but Romney has run so hot and aggressive on foreign policy that he seemed a sudden convert to transcendental meditation or Yoko Ono's secret consort)."
Steve M. of No More Mister Nice Blog thinks Obama should graciously accept Mitt Romney's endorsement. Thanks to Victoria D. for the link.
Josh Marshall of TPM: "Romney looked pained and rambling through most of the debate. I don't think I've ever seen Romney sweat like that, literally or figuratively. And I think national security politics mainly revolves around demonstrations of strength and coherence. To put a finer point on it, dominance. On that count, Obama won hands down."
Steve Kornacki of Salon: Monday's debate was Obama's best debate performance & Romney's worst. Too bad it will likely have a much smaller audience & little effect on the election.
Michael Hirsh of the National Journal: "... in making a vague and restrained case for a stronger America that would nonetheless steer clear of military involvement in hot spots such as Iran and Syria, Romney rendered almost moot any serious differences he might have with President Obama over foreign policy. All of which only raised a question not helpful to Romney's case: Why replace the man in the Oval Office?"
Glenn Greenwald liveblogs the debate. Not too long & definitely worth a read.
Steve Erlanger of the New York Times: "Monday night's American presidential debate on foreign policy presented a skewed vision of the world, even the world defined by American national interests."
Charles Pierce files "a report form the flip-floppy debate." He doesn't let anybody off the hook, including you & me.
Howard Fineman: The Obama campaign says Mitt Romney was just flat-out lying when he claimed he had favored government support of the auto industry bailout. Romney backers can't seem to defend Romney's claim. No link.
Chuck Todd says Romney sounded like he was giving a book report of places in foreign countries. He sez Republicans he talked to were unhappy with Romney's answers. The Obama campaign is feeling good. "Romney never engaged the President on the toughest zingers." You know the night was a bust for Romney when Chuckie doesn't go the he-said/he-said route.
Rachel Maddow (& contributor Victoria D.) report the CBS insta-poll of undecided voters: 53% said Obama won the debate to 23% for Romney. CNN insta-poll of registered voters: 48% for Obama; 40% said Romney won. ...
... Nate Silver analyzes last night's insta-poll results & possible impacts of the debate.
Obama's first post-debate ad, which according to Greg Sargent is going up in nine states. "By contrast," Sargent writes, "Romney's new ad features footage of him at yesterday's debate attacking Obama for his ... fictional apology tour":
... Matt Vasilogambros of the National Journal: "... President Obama's campaign is releasing a 20-page booklet called 'Blueprint for America's Future' on Tuesday and airing a new television ad [above] to support it. While several of his policy initiatives are not new, laid out in the last State of the Union address and during Obama's convention speech in September, they are likely the basis for his campaign's messaging in the final two weeks of the election.... The Obama campaign plans on printing 3.5 million copies of the plan and it will be distributed to campaign field offices...." ...
... CW: there's an online version of the booklet, beginning here. Nice that on every single page, including the overview, there is a campaign contribution form.
Michael Tomasky of Newsweek must have a crystal ball. Otherwise, how could he possibly know that "Romney is going to lie like crazy..., trying to Etch a Sketch away 18 months' worth of war-mongering neocon statements and positions." ...
... CW: We'll just see if he's right. The New York Times will be liveblogging & fact-checking the debate. ...
... Update: the Times now has an interactive feature with its fact-checking entries pegged to video of the debate.
Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times: "The Romney campaign is spending so much time on Benghazi only because Mr. Obama's foreign policy record is strong."
Hamed Aleaziz of Think Progress: "Efraim Halevy, former chief of Israel’s spy agency the Mossad, said in two separate interviews on Sunday and Monday that President Obama's approach toward Iran has been "'courageous' and 'brave.'" Halevy said, "What Romney is doing is mortally destroying any chance of a resolution without war."
Michael Birnbaum & Keith Richburg of the Washington Post: "From Europe to China to the Middle East, perceptions of the contest have lagged behind indications that [President Obama & Mitt Romney] are in a virtual dead heat. Obama remains widely popular abroad, and there are signs that many leaders are unprepared for a Romney presidency.... From the Scottish Highlands to the heel of Italy, it's Obama country all the way. One survey last month from the German Marshall Fund found Europeans breaking 75 percent for Obama and 8 percent for Romney. Even conservative leaders have maneuvered themselves to appear closer to the U.S. president...."
Zack Ford of Think Progress: "Mitt Romney's campaign seemed to flip-flop last week on whether he supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage, but the convoluted clarification demonstrated that his positions on the issue are purely political and as insensitive as ever.... Romney clearly doesn't have families in mind -- he just wants to appeal to both conservatives and moderates by having no discernible position at all."
Josh Marshall of TPM: Ronna Romney, an ex-sister-in-law of Mitt Romney who "has a minor role in the Romney campaign..., posted ... grotesque images of the mangled body of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens with the words 'Obama killed him' surrounded by dripping blood.... A few TPM Readers note ... that [she] ... seemed not to realize or not to care that the picture on the right is of the late Libya dictator Gaddafi. Later Update: And she took it down."
Gilma Avalos & Brian Hamacher of NBC South Florida: "A blimp-like aircraft carrying a Mitt Romney campaign message crash landed in a field in Davie, [Florida,] Sunday night, officials said." A commenter writes, "They probably took Mitt's advise and decided to cut a few windows in the balloon once it was in the air." He's referring to this:
If Claire McCaskill were a dog, she'd be a 'Bullshitsu.' -- Rick Tyler, senior advisor to Rep. Todd Akin, in a tweet playing on Akin's remark in which he compared McCaskill to a dog
Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times reviews Jeff Toobin's The Oath, a book about the Roberts Court.
William Greider, who covered George McGovern for the Washington Post during the 1972 presidential campaign, writes a fine remembrance of McGovern.
Alan Cowell of the New York Times: "The director general of the British Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday defended the institution's handling of a burgeoning sex abuse scandal involving one of its best-known personalities, saying the corporation was not trying to 'avoid answering questions' and had begun inquiries that were 'the opposite of an attempt to hide things.'" CW: this story is a proverbial "sticky wicket" for the Times as its incoming CEO Mark Thompson was director general of the BBC when a BBC investigative program dropped its planned story about serial sex-abuse allegations against popular BBC personality Jimmy Savile. Thompson pleads ignorance.
AP: "The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld a lower court's finding that Indiana violated federal regulations when it enacted a law that denied Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds for general health services including cancer screenings."
CBS News: "Massachusetts state officials say they found unclean conditions including visible black specks of fungus in steroids made by a pharmacy linked to a deadly outbreak of meningitis. Gov. Deval Patrick said Tuesday the state has moved to revoke the license of the New England Compounding Center and three pharmacists. The state also said it is launching a criminal investigation into the company that is identified as the source of a 17-state meningitis outbreak."
New York Times: John Kiriakou, "a former Central Intelligence Agency officer accused of leaking to journalists the identities of two former colleagues involved in the agency's detention and interrogation program for high-level Qaeda suspects, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a single charge. The plea deal was a victory for the Obama administration's crackdown on unauthorized disclosures of government secrets."
ABC News: "The housing market is revving up and gaining strength in some parts of the country. Average US home prices rose 1.3 percent in the third quarter -- the biggest quarterly gain since 2006, according to the third quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. But the pace of the recovery is uneven."