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Slippery Mitt Evades KO

PPI President Will Marshall questions whether Romney’s rope-a-dope strategy on foreign policy may actually work despite Obama’s superior performance in the debate in Foreign Policy:

Mitt Romney is a candidate of protean principles. When his positions on issues become inconvenient, he simply throws them overboard, sometimes even denying he took them in the first place. So it was in Monday night’s foreign policy debate, when the ferocious Rottweiler of the previous two debates unexpectedly morphed into “Me-Too Mitt.”

It was a tactically shrewd performance that made a virtue of necessity. Romney clearly hasn’t mastered the complexities of defense and security policy, and at several points last night seemed uncomfortably out of his depth. Rather than mount a vigorous challenge to Barack Obama’s conduct of U.S. foreign policy, Romney dropped previous lines of attack and wound up agreeing with the president’s handling of conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and even Iran.

By stressing continuity rather than radical change in U.S. foreign policy, Romney sought to reassure voters that he is ready to take over as commander in chief. Although post-debate insta-polls showed that he “lost” the debate, he probably achieved this crucial goal. And the appearance of a kinder, gentler Romney blunted Obama’s aggressive attempts to portray him as a “reckless” throwback to the bellicose policies of George W. Bush.

Read the entire article at Foreign Policy.