Lynn University

Lynn University

Among the throngs of people gathered at the National Mall to watch today's inauguration ceremony is Boca Raton's "President Obama."

That would be Lynn University student Eric Gooden.  Last fall, the 24-year-old senior served as a stand-in for the President during Lynn University's final preparations for the presidential debate in late October.

The elephants not in the room at Monday night's final presidential debate at Lynn University?

Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers. 

President Obama and Mitt Romney barely touched on our own hemisphere, sticking mostly to the Middle East and China in a debate that may be most remembered here for what wasn't discussed.

In at least one sense, the final presidential debate of the year looked a lot like the previous ones between Mitt Romney and President Obama.

Regardless of what they were asked, each offered talking points he had prepared and was determined to make. The candidates, not moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News, set both the tone and the pace of the debate.

That included switching gears far from the nominal subject of Monday's debate in Boca Raton, Fla., which was foreign policy. The domestic economy received at least as much attention and verbiage as Iran, Libya or China.

Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.

Whenever 19-year-old Robbie Walsh tells friends and family back home in Maryland that he goes to Lynn University, they do a double-take.

"They go, 'Lynn University? What?'" he says. "Then I have to tell them it's in Boca Raton, Florida, and a lot of them say, 'Oh, FAU,' or 'The University of Miami.'"

Many of Lynn's students and faculty who gather at the campus cafe say they hear that sort of thing all the time. But university spokesman Joshua Glanzer says a new T-shirt showing up on campus gives it right back.

klootch1 / flickr

President Obama and Mitt Romney meet in their second presidential debate tonight in Hempstead, NY. Then, Boca Raton becomes the center of the political universe next Monday, October 22 when Lynn University hosts the final encounter between the two candidates before election day.