Barack Obama Won The Third Debate, But Mitt Romney Won The Debate Season

President Barack Obama won the foreign policy debate last night in Boca Raton, Fla. He pressed the advantage of incumbency effectively—he knows precisely what went into every decision made over the last four years because he made them. Only Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta could've stood a chance.

But at the same time, Fox News's Chris Wallace had it right: If you knew nothing about American politics, and you tuned into last night's debate, Wallace said, you would have thought Mitt Romney was the incumbent protecting a lead and President Obama was a desperate challenger trying to score points any way possible.

Romney's primary goal was not so much to win as to pass thecommander in chief test. He needed to not allow the president to portray him as a warmonger or international cowboy. He needed to present a sensible, coherent plan to keep America strong and safe, and he did.

So, advantage President Obama last night; advantage Romney for the debate season as a whole. Will it matter November 6? It's unclear. But if you live in Ohio, let's just say you'll have a lot of chances to see the president over the next two weeks.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at U.S. News & World Report

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Analysis & Political Strategy