In my opinion, the third presidential debate was the worst, and I continued watching largely because it was fun to tweet about. But what we saw and heard were two conservatives who believed there is nothing much in the world outside the Middle East. They disagreed so little that Mitt Romney kept nodding his head with the president. Toward the end, I wondered whether he would just go ahead and endorse Obama.
For the third consecutive time, Romney mentioned Latin America and trade:
Number two, we’re going to increase our trade. Trade grows about 12 percent per year. It doubles about every — every five or — or so years. We can do better than that, particularly in Latin America. The opportunities for us in Latin America we have just not taken advantage of fully.
As a matter of fact, Latin America’s economy is almost as big as the economy of China. We’re all focused on China. Latin America is a huge opportunity for us: time zone, language opportunities.
Time zones and language. I guess because more Americans speak Spanish than Chinese? It doesn't matter.
In the two-dimensional foreign policy world presented last night, countries like Mexico and Brazil are cardboard cutouts, just open receptacles for trade if mentioned at all (Obama didn't bother mentioning Latin America in any debate). But maybe that's preferable--when candidates and presidents get worked up about Latin America, we tend to make incredibly bad policy.