The Republican base thought that Romney had won and the Democratic base gave the nod to Obama. The unfortunate third party in the debate was the moderator Candy Crowley, who interrupted Romney 28 times and Obama only 8. Crowley even sought to fact check Romney on the Benghazi terrorist issue. The next day on the infrequently watched CNN, Crowley’s home base, she tried to walk back her statement in support of Obama. She and Martha Raddatz, who was the moderator of the Vice Presidential debate are making Jim Lehrer look better and better as a moderator. Historically, a moderator’s job is to remain neutral when posing questions. Furthermore the questions from the audience that Crowley picked were by and large easier for Obama to answer than for Romney to respond.
While the two debaters circled about the ring-shaped auditorium like a pair of heavyweight contenders, Romney may have missed the greatest opening that Obama afforded him. That would be the Benghazi issue that Obama claimed he had referred to as “terror” on the day following the attack. In truth, Obama two weeks later at the U.N. on six occasions referred to the attack as a result of the disturbing anti-Muslim video. In fact, Romney could have landed a one-two punch salvo by noting more strongly that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice had used the video scenario on five Sunday TV shows several days after the Embassy attack.
This brings us to the point of what part of the Obama administration authored the “video” story in the first place. Surely, Ambassador Rice would not have taken it on herself to openly contradict what Obama purportedly said in the Rose Garden. Whatever her Sunday morning mission was, it had to have been cleared with her boss Hillary Clinton of the State Department. So now we come to the burning question again about who authored the “video” story? Was it the Obama administration? Was it the State Department or was it an individual effort by Ambassador Rice?
Last evening, the two contenders were to square off in the third and final debate. The topic of which was to be foreign policy. Hopefully Romney took a more devastating stance in his questioning of Obama’s failed policy regarding the Embassy situation.
Conveniently, on the day of the second debate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The buck stops at my desk on Benghazi.” This is the same Hillary Clinton who in 2008 when she was campaigning against Obama for the Democratic Presidential nomination said, “America deserves a President like Harry Truman who said the buck stops here.” Either she has remarkably changed her stance or she is now assuming that her desk at State, rather than the President’s, is the last repository of the buck on Benghazi.
It will be interesting to see if Romney succeeded in smoking out the true author of the “video” story.
Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.