If the race was trending toward Mitt Romney before Monday night’s foreign policy debate, nothing has changed. The debate produced no breakthroughs or even any clear headlines. After the first hour, I got an e-mail from a veteran staffer on Capitol Hill: "30 minutes left, I’m bored — and I’m a foreign policy wonk."
Romney was credible as a commander in chief. President Barack Obama was fine but was defensive at times. The president tried repeatedly to draw Romney into an argument, but Romney never took the bait. Romney was the bigger of the two men. The president’s visible frustration Monday night suggests he knows he is losing.
Also, Romney did a good job of inserting the economy into the foreign policy debate. If he wins in November, it will be because of the economy, not because of national security issues.
Obama needs something to stop Romney’s momentum. That didn’t happen Monday. The good news for the president is that Election Day is still two weeks away; the bad news is that he needs to get reckless and throw some wild punches. An angry, shrill Obama is something we have never seen — and won’t be easy for him to execute.
Ed Rogers is a co-host of The Insiders blog, offering commentary from a Republican perspective on Election 2012. He is also chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with Haley Barbour in 1991.
—The Washington Post