Five Predictions for the Last Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy

Five Predictions for the Last Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy







For those who plan on skipping tonight’s last and final presidential debate, here is what you will miss:

1.)  Sydney Poitier meets Carey Grant

Depending on your party affiliation or proclivity to watch WWF wrestling, the intensity of last week’s debate may not have sat well with you.   While some (like myself) eagerly waited for the historic “first punch” to be thrown, many others shook their heads in dismay.  Because there was no precedent to gauge how independent voters felt about street fights, both candidates have certainly heard the overwhelming sentiment of “NO BUENO” from every corner of the political spectrum.  For that reason, expect both candidates to be on their best and most gentlemen-like behavior.   I expect to see top hats, tuxedos, and a tap dance routine by the time it is all said and done.

Advantage:  Barack Obama because he is Black, and thus, has better rhythm.  Or Mitt Romney, because he is rich, and thus, can play the piano.

2.)  Bengazi versus Osama bin Laden     

Ironically, Barack Obama, the anti-war President, can boast an impeccable record of hunting down America’s most well-known enemies.   Under his administration, the entire leadership of Al Qaeda has been killed, with the exception of its main pastry chef, who now heads its global operations.   His most powerful weapon in the war against terror (unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as Drones) is also the most controversial war weapon since the invention of the nuclear bomb; however, this will likely go unmentioned because Romney wants one for himself.

Instead, Romney will go for the obvious and challenge the President again on whether the administration purposely misled the American people regarding the deaths of US nationals in Bengazi.  However, because both of taken an oath of gentlemen-like behavior, expect this discussion to be quick - filled with a few one-liners, a “zinger” or two, and lots of eye-rolling.   Romney’s goal will be to continue to use Bengazi as a way to shed doubt on the administration’s foreign policy but Obama will likely, in the end, be able to pivot to capturing Osama bin Laden, when several Republican administrations could not.

Advantage:  Neutral, with sprinklings of Obama on top.

3.)   Israel, Oh Israel

Somehow, despite the fact that nuclear weapons are being developed by third world lunatics, Israel always manages to find its way into the spotlight of America’s foreign policy.  As a nation whose name could literally be translated as, “God fights” and one who is surrounded on all sides by its mortal enemies, there is no easy way to support Israel outside of…supporting Israel.  However, in the nuclear world that we live in, the Obama administration has sought to take the route of diplomacy rather than absolute advocacy on Israel’s behalf.   My heart pities the fool that messes with Israel but my mind wants everyone in the Middle East to live in peace and harmony.

Romney will contend that the Obama administration has been weak on Israel and Obama will surely use the phrase, “You can’t shoot first and ask questions last” (thanks to his blossoming friendship with Jay Z).

Advantage:  Obama, considering the Israeli Intelligence Chief in recent months said that intelligence-sharing with the U.S. is the best that it has been in recent history.

4.)  Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Romney will site the atrocities in Syria and once again, argue that the Obama administration has been soft on defending America’s interest in the Middle East.  Obama will defend his administration’s decision to support the United Nations stance against military action because it will intensify tensions in the region and to instead, promote a cease fire.    Because Paul Ryan has stated that he would urge “military intervention” in Syria this should theoretically disable Romney from arguing against Obama’s use of military support in Libya.  If backed into a corner, the President will remind Romney that he officially ended one of the longest wars in United States history.   Romney will respond, “Then the time is ripe to start a new one!”

Advantage:  Obama, because no one wants another war.

5.)  China:  The maker of currency, iPads, and great food.

At some point the elephant in the room will have to be addressed.  Both candidates will accuse the other of being too “soft” on China.   Both will say that the other will be responsible for China owning the United States before 2016.  Both will proclaim a need to beat China at something other than Olympic medals…clean energy, little league baseball, or at least origami-making.  Either way, don’t expect anything of substance regarding this topic, except for someone to mention, “Gangnam Style,” not realizing that the recording artist, Psy, is actually South Korean.


You’re welcome…enjoy Monday Night Football.


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    Kay S

    Kay Smith is a Chicago-based freelance writer and blogger who focuses on race, politics and urban culture. Having worked on public policy at the state, regional, city and community level, her opinions have been featured in the Chicago SunTimes and a host of news websites (under very mysterious sounding pseudonyms). Follow her on Twitter @kaywillsmith or contact her at

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