Mitt Romney wants to be president alright... this president.
We knew the foreign policy positions of the the two candidates were similar, but who knew Mitt copped a peek at Obama's notes before the debate and wrote them on his hand? Romney now is a peacenik, supports an announced date to pull-out of Afghanistan and wants gender equality to solve the "tumults" in the Middle East.
When Mitt wasn't aspiring to be Obama, he seemed to be channeling Sarah Palin: "I look around the world..." (I look out my back door and see Russia... I don't know what I am saying about these difficult issues in places like China, Pakistan and who the Pashtuns are, but I will try to remember the talking points and hope I come close.. .China is our friend (those lying cheating bastards)... I forget where Syria is, but when I have looked around the world, I think I saw some Jihadists there...)
Conservatives are going to bed very nervous tonight. They must be realizing that Mitt really is the liberal they were afraid he was. Peace, love and... gender equality? They thought they won that war with the "binders of women" but they forgot to give Romney the binders on foreign policy. They forgot to hide his battleship.
Barack Obama was presidential and commanding, truly baffled by the reversal of Romney's positions and his blatant lies about Obama's "Apology Tour," professions of championing the car industry, calling for a publicly announced withdrawal date from Afghanistan.
Obama did a good job of bridging the gap between foreign and domestic policy and won points with his base by declaring that it's time to end the war in Afghanistan and use those resources for "nation-building at home." Obama hit some of the right notes by calling for investment in public education, fair taxes for the wealthy, ending wars and looking toward future, sustainable energy sources.
Romney felt queasy redux of his Benghazi moment when Obama told him that we have fewer horses and bayonets than in 1916, too, the year lamented by Romney as when we had more "navy ships."
I wish the candidates had vowed to cut military spending substantially, disavowed the reckless use of drone warfare, talked about the path of worker rights, good jobs and liveable wages as a path to stability in the global economy and detailed the revenues we can raise through corporate tax reform. But to hear Obama highlight an end to war and increase in taxes on the wealthy in order to build up education, infrastructure and future energy sources at home was a hopeful sign.
Hey, Mitt -- 2012 called. They want this president back.