Reader comment on: Thoughts on the Final Presidential Debate

Submitted by Carl Pham (United States), Oct 23, 2012 02:42

On what basis are you going to judge the quality of the challenger? Obama has a record, so you're entitled to say he's no FDR still less a Lincoln. But all you've got from Romney are speeches. I daresay he's speechified just as well as Abe on the stump. You just look back, knowing the guy (Lincoln) won the Civil War, and look for seeds of greatness in his early talk. Of course, you find them, and if Romney turns out to be another Reagan, you'll find them, too, later on.

But now? Nobody can predict greatness before it happens. How could you? By definition greatness is unexpected, the stature of the man only proved by the astonishing challenge astonishingly well-met. Lincoln was only proved great by Gettysburg and sticking by Grant, who in turn was only proved great by Appomattox. Before then, it was all in flux.

As for why Romney harps on China: because the battleground is the Midwest, and he needs Ohio, and one thing Midwesterners are pissed about is Chinese currency manipulation. They believe, as Romney has said many times, that China isn't playing fair, somehow. You'll note that Romney interpreted that as currency manipulation, and even cynical economists think there's something to that -- that China *has* manipulated its currency so as to achieve what a truly free exchange of goods could not. (What Romney might have gone on to say is that apparently the US is now indulged in the same game, as The Bernank at the Fed attempt to manipulate American currency, albeit for domestic rather than international advantage. But that's a whole can of worms)

Romney tempers that argument with an argument for free trade with South America, and that, too, plays well in Peoria. Midwesterners think they can compete pretty well selling stuff to Brazil. Furthermore, it's actually shrewd: the South American economy is potentially a boom market, at least in China and Brazil, leaving Argentina with their psychotic airhead President out of the equation. China thinks this -- China is cultivating trade agreements with South America. It's a shrewd strategy on Romney's part. He can easily afford to piss off Californians and New Yorkers who won't get Chinese imports as cheaply, if in return he makes Midwesterners think he'll be shielding them from Chinese ninja tactics and opening up South American markets for their exports. (He also throws an interesting bone to the techies by mentioning software piracy and IP theft in general. He may not score too many votes in Palo Alto among Apple groupies, but he could easily pull in a fair amount of Microsoft votes in Redmond. Or more usefully a few $100 donations.)

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Title By Date
on being disappointed [208 words]Daniel SkolnickOct 23, 2012 11:11
Way premature - for one candidate [49 words]Dan CalabriaOct 23, 2012 20:02
Founders [87 words]M. ReportOct 23, 2012 09:42
We ascribe to our past leaders a lack of baseness that is not truthful. [84 words]Scott PierceOct 23, 2012 06:30
bad choice [32 words]BobOct 23, 2012 04:30
⇒ foo [447 words]Carl PhamOct 23, 2012 02:42
Is this the best? [17 words]OldflyerOct 23, 2012 01:15
best of their generations? [48 words]moquiOct 23, 2012 01:01
The Best? [112 words]RDGOct 23, 2012 00:17
The best this generation of Americans has to offer? [75 words]The Masked MarvelOct 22, 2012 23:58
Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't [54 words]MaxOct 23, 2012 17:40
So What? [55 words]teapartydocOct 22, 2012 23:40
You really understand free trade [87 words]Harry BinswangerOct 24, 2012 09:26

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