Obama V. Romney - The Main Event

21/10/2012 11:36 BST | Updated 21/12/2012 10:12 GMT

As they approach this final Presidential Debate both contenders have one win under their belt and one performance they both wish to forget.

Monday night's deciding debate will be the candidate's last chance to shine or collapse in front of an audience of 70 million plus Americans both at home and abroad.

This is also the last chance for the two contenders to go toe-to-toe and get free TV time to make their case to such a large and attentive audience.

After all the shouting and mass commercial hysteria the act of voting for president is a very personal and solitary decision.

Except possibly for passing on to the hereafter, the only other thing we do completely alone is pulling that lever on Election Day.

Consequently, US voters are interested in the character and temperament of the man or woman who will occupy the Oval Office when the unexpected happens - and it always does. That 3 AM call.

Other than actually being president there is no job that prepares you for this unique challenge.

This year the choice is between two very different men - one who is cool, cerebral and contemplative in his decision making and one who is used to being the consummate CEO Boss.

In the last debate voters learned a lot about their differences in style, confrontational behavior and dynamics and very little about their differences in policy.

Although Romney showed up to rumble and engage his opponent he did exhibit some annoyance with the format - almost stamping his feet in response to the referee's decisions to play by the rules.

As a CEO he is used to getting his own way, the normal rules just don't apply to the 'Mighty Mitt' and this debate was no exception.

Obama, this time, was also confrontational but in a more cagey and measured sort of way.

Stinging and jabbing like prize fighter striking then darting back into the ropes the audience provided or sliding back to his own corner avoiding temporarily, any all out bloodshed.

Although this was exciting to watch and may have appealed to many male voters in the crowd, it may have had the opposite affect on the all important female vote.

This testosterone packed event may have given women voters pause as to who they could trust to make those difficult, clear headed decisions that affect their lives in such personal ways.

The interplay between the candidates and the moderator, Candy Crowley, the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in 20 years, probably did not win either contender any points with women voters either.

There was a point or two when both frustrated candidates, behaving like two misbehaving siblings, looked to moderator-referee-mom to step in and resolve their own personal rivalry.

Ms Crowley under very difficult conditions did not take the bait and handled the situation remarkably well.

This final debate will be moderated by the seasoned CBS pro Bob Schieffer and it will be on foreign policy.

The format will be the same as the first debate and the candidates will be encouraged to stand safely behind their podiums.

Foreign policy is a topic that should favour the president since he has actually been conducting foreign policy for the last four years.

However, the President has failed to clearly set out how his agenda on foreign policy, or for that matter on domestic policy, will be different if he wins a second term.

On the other hand, until recently Governor Romney has not focused on foreign policy at all.

The basis for the Romney run was and still is - to fix the economy.

Governor Romney is a proven quick study so he will probably be well prepared to face some very tough questions on some major policy stances he has still yet to define.

Even when asked in the VP Debate, Paul Ryan had a tough time explaining how the Romney-Ryan foreign policy positions would differ from that of Obama-Biden.

This debate will be the last time these two men are together in the ring before Election Day on 6 November, so be prepared for some surprises along with the bobs, weaves and head fakes.

If you are hoping to see some solid head and body blows, and a possible KO, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

However, don't get too close to the action.

Best you watch this Main Event on TV.

This post also appeared on Sky.