Analysts say that Middle East will be major talking point over final presidential debate
Both Romney, Obama have strengths and weaknesses in regards to foreign policy
The first presidential debate left President Barack Obama hurting. The second debate, many felt ended in a draw between Obama and GOP contender Mitt Romney. As both men gear up for the third and final debate, many agree that the Middle East - in particular Libya and Iran, will weigh in heavily.
The Keith C. & Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida, designed by Newman Architects, New Haven, CT, will host the final debate between President Barack Obama and GOP Candidate Mitt Romney.
"So if you're Mitt Romney, every second you're talking about foreign policy is wasted. Which might mean that Romney tries to break out of that, tries to bring home some of the foreign policy issues to domestic economic issues. For instance, when you're talking about China, that's in some ways a domestic issue," he said.
Lizza says Romney must now stay decisive. Romney could either try to attack Obama over the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack. It was a strategy he took during the second debate - to which he confused details about the timeline of events.
"Or does he just put that aside, put those attacks aside and try to move on to some other issues where he has more of an advantage?" Lizza said.
Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says that the president will need to be "defining the Middle East strategy going forward.
"He's had some successes, he's had some things that are still pretty murky," Alterman said.
In regards to international relations, The New York Times reported an anonymous senior administration official who said the U.S. and Iran have agreed to take part in unprecedented, one-on-one talks over the country's nuclear program. The White House has since denied this.
Former White House chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that while he didn't know whether the reports of talks with Iran were true, the "tables have been turned" by Obama's approach.
"Three and a half years ago, the world was criticizing us on Iran. Today, the world is criticizing Iran on its attempts to acquire nuclear weapons. That's a direct change," he said.
Many think that tonight's final political showdown is to focus entirely on international affairs. How the candidates address the current challenges the world faces in the Middle East could provide a pivot point in the tight race for the White House.
Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said that he thinks "it's going to be an important debate;" however, he doesn't feel that diplomacy is a major sticking point for voting Americans. "I don't think any one event is decisive, even though being strong at home and building our economy is the No. 1 issue."
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will meet for their third and final debate in Boca Raton, Florida, the biggest swing state prize with 29 electoral votes.
The debate will air at the same time as two popular sporting events -- Monday Night Football, this week featuring the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears, and the pivotal seventh game of baseball's National League Championship Series, which will determine whether the St. Louis Cardinals or the San Francisco Giants advance to the World Series.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Debate, Obama, Romney, Florida, foreign policy
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