President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney faced off in their second debate Tuesday night at Hofstra University in New York. Obama was under pressure to deliver after a widely-panned first debate performance. (Photo: Getty Images)
It was clear that President Barack Obama could not afford any repeat of his lackluster first debate on Tuesday night. With Mitt Romney making steady advances in the polls, the president needed to use their second head-to-head to reverse the dispassionate image he set two weeks ago.
How did he do? Here's a roundup of what some of the media are saying:
Stopped the bleeding...
"I think liberals can breathe a sigh of relief. It's not curtains for the president. He showed up and showed up big tonight. He was more aggressive; he had a lot of fight in him."
New York Times news analysis:
Whether it will decisively reroute the course of the campaign remains to be seen, but the president emerged from the encounter having settled nerves within his panicky party and claiming a new chance to frame the race with just three weeks left.
Los Angeles Times news analysis:
"Obama is back in the fight."
There is likely to be a boost in enthusiasm among Obama loyalists, and that’s not insignificant. Given that some parts of his coalition, young voters in particular, are not as motivated as they were four years ago, that jolt of energy could be important. Obama advisers know that turning out their voters will be harder for them than it will be for Romney’s team.
...but no knockout punch
Obama seemed to come out ahead in the second debate, though not by the emphatic margin that Romney did in the first. Going forward, this outcome probably helps reset the race and steer the national conversation away from theater criticism toward more substantive closing arguments.
Obama’s performance wasn’t flawless and he didn’t score a clean win as Romney did in the first debate. But, he was the better performer this time around.
ABC News analysis:
President Obama's job was to rev up his flagging base and convince wavering supporters that he actually wants another term. And, he accomplished that with his aggressive performance....Even so, his win is not going to upend the race in the way that Romney's success at the Denver debate did. Ultimately, this debate is likely to stop what was turning into snowballing momentum for Romney, but we won't see a similar post-DNC convention surge for Obama either.
So the question becomes, did Obama make a comeback Tuesday night? We pose it to you.