Last night was the last presidential debate between President Obama and Governor Romney. The battle was over foreign policy and something came up that I didn’t expect. Did you know that we have fewer horses and bayonets in our military today?
The horses and bayonets line came when Obama and Romney fought over the size of our military. In particular, Romney stated that our navy was smaller than it had been since 1917 and that our air force is smaller than it has been since it was founded in 1947. Never-mind that this claim was immediately fact checked and found to be false, the interesting part came when President Obama responded to Romney who said we needed to have a larger navy and a larger air force. President Obama responded by saying, “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. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”
This line made me laugh and of course the President is right on this one. The nature of our military has changed. A single super-carrier has enough strength, firepower, and resolve to change the tone in a troubled region. Throw two in the mix and all of a sudden the picture is completely different (we have 10). Horses and Bayonets became the catchphrase from last night’s debate immediately. You can see why. It was quirky, catchy, and memorable. The question is did this hurt President Obama?
Exiting polling seems to say no. The CNN poll showed that Obama won the debate 48% to 40%, which is outside the 4.5% margin of error. The win was even more decisive from the CBS news poll which had Obama winning the debate 53% to 23% with 24% calling the debate a tie.
So even though you could definitely read condescension in President Obama’s remark where he told Governor Romney that we have fewer horses and bayonets today than we had in 1917, the remark didn’t seem to hurt Obama who seems to have won two out of three debates.
We are now going into the final two weeks of this presidential campaign. Were these last two debates enough to stem the tide of Romney and get Obama a second term or did Obama lose reelection in Denver at the first presidential debate? We’ll know in less than 15 days!