American flag
Kendra/Flickr

Some people compared the second debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to the battle between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. To me, it brought to mind the face-off between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. In that fight the stakes were higher: it was USA vs Germany.

The total contempt between Romney and Obama was electrifying. You could feel the tension across the country.

After going through a primary with weak competition many Democrats underestimated Romney. They were convinced he was just a millionaire buffoon. The bizarre Republican convention seemed weak compared to Democratic show of power, starring Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama. The intelligentsia of Washington had the champagne on ice. When Romney dissed the 47 percent the Republicans seemed to be finished.

Then, as 70 million watched the first debate, Obama received an ass-whipping. Romney was like a man possessed: sharp, snapping jabs and zingers. He was hungry. He pushed the moderator and hit below the belt.

The liberal media went frantic. Pollsters also went crazy, showing questionable polling numbers. Romney’s base energized and what seemed like an inevitable victory for Obama turned into a fight for his political life.

America was stunned.Liberals devastated. Hysteria replaced smugness.

Yet maybe, the panic was an overreaction. After all was said and done, Obama emerged unscathed. No one had to check his facts. No one accused him of lying.

And while the pundits dismissed the vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan as the undercard fight that didn’t matter, it actually contained the the blueprint on how to defeat the Romney machine.

Every time Ryan misled and insinuated, Joe Biden just grinned and called him out on his misstatements. He hit him with a right cross when he exposed Ryan over accepting stimulus money while denouncing it.

In the second meeting between Obama and Romney, things turned out differently.

Right from the start, Romney went for the jugular by trying to pointing out failures. However a different Obama emerged. He was partisan, and passionate, sticking up for the middle class. I leapt from my chair with tears, because he did what I wanted him to do: show emotion and release the anger over what the Republicans have done during his first term.

Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas had nothing on these two goliaths. When Obama attacked Romney’s five point plan, the shaken Republican went to the gutter, trying to run over moderator Candy Crowley and talking down to the president, telling him to wait his turn. When Romney tried to go back to his talking points, Obama continued to unnerve him with assaults on his positions on immigration and womens rights.

Obama found a cut and really started landing blows when it came to the embassy bombing in Libya. Romneys trainers thought the administration’s handling of security at the embassy would be a knockout punch to the President. But Obama dodged, with a critique of Romney’s accusatory tone. Romney again tried to connect, but Crowley’s fact-checking gave the Republican a standing eight count.

In the end Obama finished the job and flattened with the 47 percent comments. Obama supporters loved it and he re energized the base.

I am writing this before the third meeting between Romney and Obama.

No matter who wins, the debates are great for the country.