Presidential debate awards: Slate hands out the awards for best zinger, best pander to Israel, best use of a strange statistic, and much more.

Who Delivered the Night’s Best Zinger? Check out Slate’s 2012 Presidential Debate Awards

Who Delivered the Night’s Best Zinger? Check out Slate’s 2012 Presidential Debate Awards

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Oct. 22 2012 11:37 PM

The 2012 Presidential Debate Awards (Boca Edition)

Who delivered the night’s best zinger? Best pander to Israel? Best use of a strange statistic? Slate hands out the honors.


Monday night Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had their final presidential debate showdown. Each candidate landed some punches. To score the evening, Slate brings you the Presidential Debate Awards—the Oscars of the Oval Office. The envelope please:

The Best Zinger: The trophy goes to Barack Obama: “We also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed … the question is not a game of Battleship.”

The Most Awkward Zinger: But sometimes the president tried too hard: “It’s the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”


The Worst Rationale for a Foreign Policy Decision: Sure, it was risky, but that little girl now has closure: “And she said to me, “You know, by finally getting Bin Laden, that brought some closure to me.”

The Best “I Love Israel” Moment: I love Israel. No, no, I love Israel more: “And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors. I didn’t attend fundraisers. I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.”

The Best Use of a Strange Statistic: Romney has a very specific number of allies in mind: “We’re the great nation that has allies, 42 allies and friends around the world.”

The Best Mispronunciation of a Foreign Leader’s Name: To be fair, we have all tripped on it one time or another: “When the—when the president of Iraq—excuse me, of Iran, Ahmadinejad, says that our debt makes us not a great country, that’s a frightening thing.”


The Best Domestic Policy Dodge in a Foreign Policy Debate: Sometimes it got hard to spot the foreign policy in this foreign policy debate:

The Best Suck Up to Bob Schieffer: Mitt Romney was more than happy to have Schieffer call him out: “Well, that’s probably true … ha, ha.”