That Monday’s Presidential debate was the final one is something conservatives and liberals can agree on: It’s over.
Coming into the debate, Barack Obama had to show that he had a command of foreign policy issues. With the momentum on his side, Mitt Romney merely had to look Presidential. Depending on the spin you believe, both men did, or didn’t, meet their objective.
It remains to be seen whether more Americans were watching the debate, baseball or football. But we can guess. What then, will be the takeaway quote from this debate?
In a discussion on military spending, Barack Obama looked at Mitt Romney and said “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.”
He went on to attempt to lecture Mitt Romney on the military, saying in a patronizing manner that seemed to indicate his debate coach for this round actually was Big Bird, that “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”
Soon #horsesandbayonets was trending on Twitter.
That single quote could have cost him Virginia, if he wasn’t already losing here. Riley at Virginia Virtucon reports that: Obama’s Campaign Ceases Virginia Polling. An indication that he knows Virginia will go to Romney.
Almost immediately after the comment FOX News reported that a Marine tweeted that the Marines still use bayonets. Indeed they do.
The President seemed equally unaware that our military still uses horses.
On Friday of last week a “16-foot, 5,000-pound bronze sculpture “De Opresso Liber” — which depicts a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces on horseback leading the invasion into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks — was unveiled Friday at its new home in front of the World Trade Center PATH station.” [DNAinfo.com]
Following the debate, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell issued this statement:
“The United States Navy calls Hampton Roads home. Norfolk Naval Station is the largest naval station in the world, and all Virginians are honored to have this great facility in the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, President Obama’s dismissive comments about the Navy tonight should be concerning for any voter who cares about the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad. President Obama has not only ignored these concerns — but his flippant comment about ‘horses and bayonets’ was an insult to every sailor who has put his or her life on the line for our country. Gov. Romney is clearly the candidate in this race who recognizes the importance of ensuring that our fighting men and women have the resources and the support they need to protect our interests and ensure that no adversary would think to challenge us. Tonight, Virginians, and all Americans, saw that Mitt Romney is the president we need in a challenging and uncertain world.”
That Obama would be so patronizing and condescending, not only towards Governor Romney but towards Virginia’s 800,000 plus veterans, many of whom are Navy vets, as well as the entire Newport News Shipbuilding community just shows once again that he can’t lead without a teleprompter.
Obama’s failure in Virginia not only helps to put the Commonwealth in Mitt Romney’s column, it effectively dooms the campaign of his cheerleader-in-chief, Tim Kaine.
Ironically, Tim Kaine is running to replace a former Secretary of the Navy who once resigned over a plan to cut funding for the Navy’s fleet: Jim Webb.