Last night, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sat down for a third and final presidential debate before election day. Although the close proximity of the candidates and moderator Bob Schieffer didn't quite produce the verbal fireworks we saw between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan when they were seated in the same format two weeks ago, we did hear quite a lot from both sides of the table (literally). Fortunately, Flyby stayed alert and on BS-patrol. For one last time, we're back to help you sort through some of the evening's more memorable moments.
1. Romney: "Promoting the principles of peace has fallen to America. We didn't ask for it. But it's an honor that we have it."
You're right, Mitt. In fact, we told them that's how it was gonna be. Thanks, John Winthrop.
2. Obama: "If we're going to talk about trips that we've taken…"
Yeah, about that. Afghanistan in '01 and Iraq in '03 never did quite top Hawaii '08.
3. Schieffer: "Obama's bin Laden."
Oof, Bob. This guy's been president for the last four years, not hiding out in the mountains of Pakistan. We know you were born in 1937, but get it together.
4. Obama: "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. And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships."
There goes the Hasbro endorsement, Mr. President—you just sunk that battleship.
5. Side note: Flyby supports breast cancer research (and we definitely give Obama props for mixing up the red and blue sartorial scheme with a pop of pink), but if you want to do wristbands right, we suggest taking a page from the Romney playbook.
6. Schleiffer: "I think we all love teachers."
Preach, Bob. Still, we can't help but feel that this comment fed into the candidates' seeming misconception that this foreign policy debate was actually all about education.
7. Obama: "What we need to do with respect to the Middle East is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership." And later: "America is a pacific power and we're going to have a presence there."
Bonus points for pulling out the alliteration in full force. But even if Romney kept his word choice squarely within the realm of the (third-grade) vernacular (see: "bad guys"), at least we know he's read his Robert Frost…
8. Romney: "There are two very different paths the country can take. One is a path represented by the president, which at the end of four years would mean we'd have $20 trillion in debt heading towards Greece. I'll get us on track to a balanced budget."
Which will be your road less traveled? Perhaps the one that runs somewhere between Appleton and Philadelphia?…
9. Romney: "I've met them in Appleton, Wisconsin. I met a young woman in — in Philadelphia who's coming out of — out of college, can't find work. I've been — Ann was with someone just the other day…"
Word to the wise—if you can't remember a person, don't try to tell an anecdote about that time you met and promptly forgot them.
10. Finally, a shoutout to Bob Schieffer for citing his sources (perhaps they teach that better at Texas Christian University than they do at the candidates' alma mater): "Go vote; It'll made you feel big and strong." –Bob's mom