US Election: Mitt Romney loses his cool under fire; Barack Obama.
In this testosterone-infused second presidential debate the personal antipathy was on display for all the world to see.
On the issues, Mr Obama won this debate by a clear though not overwhelming margin, however time might show that his real victory was in provoking Mr Romney to reveal the snappy, irritable side of his character and, implicitly, his fitness for the highest office.
Time and again Mr Romney allowed Mr Obama to get under his skin, in what was clearly a deliberate strategy to tackle the man as much as the questions, with direct attacks on his record that were designed to impugn his integrity. The plan worked.
"You'll get your chance in a moment. I'm still speaking," snapped Mr Romney when interrupted by Mr Obama. Such peevishness – and there were several incidences - is very dangerous when addressing a sitting president.
This is a 'threshold' issue. If a candidate cannot take a bit of ribbing from an irritating debate opponent, how will he cope in negotiations with Iran's Ayatollahs or even worse, China's zero-sum trade negotiators?
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