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Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.

MORNING MESSAGE: The Doublethink Debate

OurFuture.org’s Robert Borosage: “‘I agree,’ said Mitt Romney, and so he did, with the same passionate intensity with which he previously scorned the president’s foreign policies then his Republican allies trooped out to chant the talking points of the night: Romney passed the ‘commander in chief tes.’ … He was ‘presidential,’ apparently by imitating the president. Another twenty minutes of this, Van Jones noted on CNN, and Romney might have endorsed Obama.”

Obama Schools Romney On The World

“Obama Cites Foreign Policy Wins as Romney Mostly Agrees” headlines Bloomberg: “President Barack Obama kept Mitt Romney on the defensive on foreign policy in their final debate before the election, as his Republican rival worked to criticize the incumbent’s leadership while endorsing most major actions he has taken.”

Obama speaks slowly, explains world to Romney. NYT: “…time and again, the president suggested that managing a world that at once craves and resents American power requires a lot more than martial-sounding declarations about calling in airstrikes or threatening to turn on and off American foreign aid. And he relentlessly cast Mr. Romney as a man unwilling to recognize how perceptions of American strength have changed.”

President pledges deal to avoid sequester on military spending, slams Romney outdated view of military. Roll Call: “Obama said his focus was on military capabilities, and he made sure to recount the many conversations and consultations he has conducted with military brass on the subject as the sitting commander-in-chief … When Romney began to reel off statistics on the shrinking size of the Navy — at its smallest since 1917 — and the Air Force — smaller than at any time since its founding in 1947 — Obama came back with one of the toughest zingers of the night, and perhaps of his campaign. ‘Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military’s changed,’ Obama said. ‘We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. The question is not a game of Battleship.'”

Yet Another Romney Etch-a-Sketch

Romney dons moderate mask. Mother Jones’ David Corn: “Both candidates met their key goals, but Obama more so than Romney, who accomplished his mission by repeatedly ducking confrontations and often endorsing the president’s own actions—even if that meant Romney was jettisoning his previous stances.”

NYT’s David Firestone adds: “Is Mitt Romney a neoconservative? Or an isolationist? Is he a hard-eyed realist? A democracy-spreading dreamer? Or a strutting warmonger? He has been all those things over the course of his campaign, and he followed a similar pattern at Monday night’s debate.”

Romney shirked from repeating past lies. Time’s Joe Klein: “It was telling that Romney didn’t attempt his line about ‘throwing Israel under the bus’ and Obama ‘wanting to return to 1967 borders’ tonight. He did not do that for a reason: because it is a lie … Obama’s position is not only consistent with that of every American President since Nixon, it is also consistent with the stated position of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.”

“Romney pulls his punches on Libya” reports Reuters: “…Romney, whose misstep on Libya in their previous debate may have left him feeling singed, shied away from a fight – a decision that could disappoint many conservatives who hoped to see their candidate on the attack.”

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