In the first debate, Romney conveyed that he understands the very concept of compromise means not everyone at the bargaining table gets what they want — that’s not the goal. The goal is to achieve the best possible outcome in confronting a given issue — actually solving a problem while giving everyone something they can take home as a win.

This is the kind of president this country needs right now. We don’t need vague slogans like “Forward” or “Change you can believe it.”

We need a person who knows what it’s like to look across the table at someone with a different viewpoint and a contrasting agenda — and yet somehow have the temperament and skill to forge a mutually agreeable conclusion.

We also need someone who will not allow the ideologues among the loyal opposition — or the special interest groups in his own party — to derail the process of governing. Spirited debate is essential and necessary. Pulling out symbolic bogeymen to torch potential solutions is not.