Welcome to Suffragio‘s live-blog of the final of the three presidential debates between the Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, which will feature foreign policy.
Tonight, I hope to provide a world politics context in real-time to the U.S. foreign policy discussion, as well as my analysis of the world politics implications of the foreign policy objectives of each candidate.
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10:28. Not a single word about the eurozone crisis. Not much, aside from a few references to Mali, about sub-Saharan Africa. Not much about Latin America, and not a word about Mexico, where the incoming president Enrique Peña Nieto promises quite a change from the past 12 years. Not a word about India. Basically, 75 minutes of wrangling about Israel, Iran, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan (and maybe Russia) with a perfunctory segment on China that turned into a domestic policy pissing match.
10:25. Speaking of apology tours, Romney is sounding incredibly defensive about Detroit and his position on the auto bailout. Of course, Detroit is one of the most important world capitals.
10:23. Obama is now talking more generally about the Pacific Rim. “America is a Pacific power, we are going to have a presence there.”
The opening of Burma/Myanmar to political and economic liberalization has been, quite rightly, one of the top accomplishments of the State Department under U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton. But the Philippines and Indonesia are now gathering economic steam at a time when China and Vietnam, long showcased for their engine of economic growth, are slowing. South Korea will elect a new president in December 2012, and North Korea is adjusting to its own leadership transition from King Jong-Il to Kim Jong Un.
10:21. “You invested in companies that sent jobs overseas!” Obama takes the low-hanging fruit here in making a domestic point about Romney’s private equity record.
10:19. Romney again says he will, on day one, label China a “currency manipulator.” The value of China’s currency, the remimbi, has actually appreciated a bit since 2010, but it probably has more to do with the Chinese wanting to tamp down inflation than anything the Obama administration has done (or, frankly, anything a Romney administration could do) — for the record, it’s up 8.5% since January 2009, marking a value of around $0.159. It’s still probably overvalued, but maybe less so than it had been previously.
10:18. “China has not played by the same rules.” But which Chinese jobs, specifically, does Romney want to bring back?
10:17. Interestingly, Romney says the greatest threat to the United States is a nuclear-armed Iran; Obama says it is the continued threat of terrorist attacks. I think most Americans agree with Obama here. Kenneth Waltz probably does!
10:16. So did Schieffer really just give Obama an opportunity to discuss terrorism in the China segment, after 75 minutes of talking about terrorism, in one way or another?
10:15. Finally, to China. Continue reading LIVE BLOG: Romney, Obama spar over foreign policy in final U.S. presidential debate