Obama Eludes 'Angry Black Man' Debate Trap
He showed no fear of stepping on a racial land mine in the rematch with Romney.
There were some extremely tense moments between the president and the former governor. Their exchange over energy policy and oil early in the debate found the two men standing uncomfortably close and displaying the kind of body language that, had they been seated on a talk-show stage together, would have resulted in security being summoned to stand between the two rivals. But interestingly, in those exchanges it was Romney who appeared on the brink of losing his cool.
To be clear, the evening was not a slam dunk for the president. Based on how badly his poll numbers slipped after the last debate, he has so much ground to make up that it will take more than one solid performance to dig his campaign out of the hole in which it now appears to be. But this was certainly a start. Finding his voice as a fighter and getting over his apparent fear of being perceived as "angry" was an important first step. Equally important was that he seemed to get comfortable finding ways to make his opponent angry.
After Romney's aggressive performance, which included speaking over moderator Candy Crowley and ordering the president to sit down and answer questions, it's possible a new stereotype might gain steam in American media and politics this election cycle: "the angry white man."