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
Here are a couple of what someone has called
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.