Caitriona Palmer: Gutsy, intelligent and, above all, presidential -- Obama's back, and the gloves are off
IT has been a nail-biting two weeks for Team Obama, but Democrats across America are now rejoicing in a simple, undeniable fact: Barry is back. Gutsy. Testy. Punchy. Presidential. Tuesday night saw the re-emergence of the Obama of old, a man clearly relishing his job as President of the United States, not one seemingly ground down by it.
"Wow! Who's this feisty guy wearing the Obama mask?" tweeted Nicholas Kristof of 'The New York Times' soon into the first hour of the second presidential debate.
As Democrats held their breath, it took all of 45 seconds for Mr Obama to signal to his base -- increasingly panicky since the Disaster That Was Denver -- that this debate would not be a repeat of his lacklustre first performance. Looking his opponent directly in the eye, Mr Obama was jaunty, cocky, and self-assured. He was not there to play nice: he interrupted, he threw jabs, he argued, he squabbled over facts.