Last night’s debate was in stark contrast to the second debate. This one was more substantive and far more dignified, regardless of whom people think may have won. Bob Schieffer kept the candidates to the rules, allowed few interruptions, and did not intrude himself into the debate, as did Candy Crowley last week. This was closer the example of our more substantive encounters such as the first Kennedy-Nixon debate and the Cheney-Lieberman vice-presidential debate.
On the larger question, it showed the candidates not that far apart on fighting terrorism, dealing with China and preventing an Iranian bomb. Should Mitt Romney win, he should show the grace to thank Obama for maintaining the structure of the fight against terrorism that George W. Bush established. It is essential that the next administration work assiduously to establish a bi-partisan foreign policy. This would be an important first step to the restoration of civility in our politics and in our country.