Boca Debate Live-Blog II

* Supposedly new segment, but Mitt goes right back into Economy plus Defense Spending rap.

* Mitt now building pretty big time-of-possession gap.

* Obama says “we’re still strongest country;” might mention our share of global defense spending. Makes me crazy.

* Now Obama pivots into his own economic rap, tosses out attack on Romney’s tax plan. Gets the Bush parallel out late, with barbed references to W. and to (this is new!) Cheney.

* Mitt ignores Bush barb, goes right into five-point plan. Oh, brother. Guess “road to Greece” is return to foreign policy topic. No: back to small business promotion.

* Poor Obama explanation of standards, Race to the Top. Mitt chomping at bit to brag about Massachusetts schools.

* Yep. Obama actually interrupting on this one. No mention by either candidate of vouchers.

* Schieffer interrupts to ask about how to pay for larger defense budget. Romney does usual budget rap. Offers chin on Medicaid block grant. Will Obama pounce?

* Ah! Obama does mention comparative military spending. Looks like he’s going to let Romney off hook on domestic spending cuts, including Medicaid.

* Mitt works on pretense he can magically balance budget, because he did so in Massachusetts.

* Hilarious Obama rap on changing military needs. Mitt does not get to explain difference between redundant Navy ships and horses.

* On to Iran red lines.

* Obama very lucky to get first shot on Iran. Mitt is bound to look like “me, too, just more!” And then Obama gets to accuse Mitt of war-mongering.

* Now Romney has to back-track to echo Obama on Iran.

* Don’t recall St. Ronald Reagan treating South Africa as diplomatic pariah, but whatever.

* Obama a little shaky on current negotiations with Iran. “You’d say it a little louder” a good zinger at Mitt, since it pretty much defines his foreign policy.

* Obama rattles the saber a little at Iran. I don’t much like it, but it certainly does box in Mitt. Now Mitt just goes back to “apology tour” rap.

* Obama pounces on “apology tour.” Wooo. Out-of-nowhere attack on Romney investing in Chinese company operating in Iran. Will Mitt freak?

* No, Mitt ignores is, and goes to the Cairo speech. Neocons will love it, but overreach gives Obama another chance. Nasty shot at Mitt on Israel fundraising trip.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.