Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Foreign policy, Romney versus Obama

The debate on foreign policy confirmed half of what I expected from Mitt Romney. Romney disagrees with Obama, not on any specific policy, but on presentation. The other half of what I expected was not actively confirmed, but I think that was a failure of the event.

What I think is, Obama follows Teddy Roosevelt's line, "Speak softly, but carry a big stick"; where Romney imagines better outcome from, "Shout, and carry an even bigger stick."

Here are a couple of what someone has called "irregular conjugations."
Romney's dimension goes,
I am bold, frank, and plain-speaking;
You are a bit argumentative;
He is rude, belligerent, and overly hasty.

Obama's dimension goes,
I am thoughtful, civil, and effective;
You are sometimes not confrontational enough;
He is meek and apologetic.

It is easy enough to see how the sociology will usually work here, where the "bold, plain-speaker" will regard the quieter style of response as meek and insufficient.

Romney has repeatedly called Obama apologetic. For a couple of years, I wondered if Obama was not confrontational enough in dealing with Republicans (in particular), but I came to recognize that Obama was wiser than me in a couple of cases – being civil and thoughtful proved to be effective in ways I had not imagined.

On the other hand, during the development of the consulate crisis, Romney blurted out political pronouncements of "apologies" based on misreading a pre-event memo as a post-event response. He embraced "too hasty" as his style.

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