Since I apparently watched a different debate from everyone else, let's go at it from a different angle. Obama's biggest weakness has been his <50% approval rating, a traditional trouble sign for incumbents. Now he has the unprecedented experience for him of the media basically saying he sucked and was outclassed by a ...gasp...republican. Obama now faces the very real threat of losing legitimacy with the voters, of being viewed as a loser. This is the flipside of the dynamic he had working for him four years ago. I am struck by how many on the left are reacting to his performance. They seem to feel personally betrayed. How could the most brilliant man ever to graduate from the Harvard Law School get taken down by some vulgar private equity thug? Obama is on very thin ice now. Like a trader who took a bad beat, he absolutely must control his risk now. He can't afford another Embassy trashing or being attacked by a killer rabbit while canoing( old timers will remember the incident that ruined Carter). Of course, a win can erase all this unpleasantness. Like say, the Iranians announced they were stopping their nuke program. The media would carry Obama on their shoulders down Pennsylvania Avenue, and the election would be over. Interesting times.