Romney and Obama clash on foreign policy in final debate

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama at the conclusion of the debate
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama at the conclusion of the debate. Photo: REUTERS/Scott Audette

There are two very different questions in America this morning following the bust-up in Boca: Who won the final debate? Will it make a difference?

The answers are probably: Obama and No.

The President had a strong night. He was aggressive at times, but always measured. Obama was quick to remind voters that he had ordered the killing of Bin Laden and had decimated al-Qaida.

Mitt Romney had a more difficult task. He's the businessman whose campaign for the White House is almost entirely based on improving the US economy. So of course he would struggle on foreign policy, facing a commander-in-chief who receives daily intelligence briefings.

And yet Romney didn't blunder and he emphasized that global power and economic success are linked. Last night was not a game changer for either side.

The Republicans will be happy with that because they can continue to argue they have the momentum.

But Obama had the best line of the night. When Romney complained the US Navy had fewer ships than in 1916, the President pounced:

Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military’s changed.

With that zinger, Obama sent "bayonet" trending on Twitter.

At 106,000 tweets per minute "Horses & Bayonets" was the most-tweeted moment of the debate
At 106,000 tweets per minute "Horses & Bayonets" was the most-tweeted moment of the debate Credit: Twitter: @gov

We now have two nail-biting weeks ahead of us. The election is on a knife-edge. And once more - just like in 2000 and 2004 - the Presidency will be decided by a few thousand voters in Florida and Ohio.