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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shake hands at the end of the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Western Editorial Sampler: The second debate ...

Obama shows up: Both candidates make their points — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Americans who hoped the president of the United States would show up for a nationally televised debate should feel good today.

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Barack Obama, so widely ridiculed for a lackluster performance in the first debate earlier this month, brought it Tuesday, matching Republican challenger Mitt Romney point for point, at times even setting the challenger back on his heels. ...

Obama wakes up — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

... The debates are worth watching, and we hope voters are paying attention. They provide an unvarnished, spin-free look at the candidates, sans teleprompters. It’s a close race between Obama and Romney; we expect scores of millions to tune in to the third and final debate this Monday night.

Obama bounces back in Round 2 — Los Angeles Times Editorial

President Obama bounced back in Tuesday’s presidential debate with a focused and forceful presentation nothing like his neurasthenic performance in his first encounter with Mitt Romney. That’s obviously a relief for Obama partisans, but the president’s articulate defense of his own policies and his detailed dissection of his opponent’s also served the electorate in general by bringing sharply into focus the fundamental differences between the candidates. ...

"Binders full of women" was the real winner of second presidential debate — Los Angeles Daily News Editorial

Romney shows he’s up to the job — San Diego U-T Editorial

... Will this slow or reverse the recent Romney surge? Who knows? But after two debates, we think Romney has met the basic test facing any challenger to an incumbent president: Most voters now can envision him in the White House. ...

Obama comes alive in 2nd debate — San Francisco Chronicle Editorial

... The debate scorers will no doubt focus on the Libya exchange, where Romney glossed over the nuances — and drew the president’s ire — in characterizing the administration’s response to the terrorist attack. It was an awkward moment for Romney, who at a minimum was not prepared for the moderator’s instant fact-check challenge, and a chance for Obama to counter with sharp indignation.

If nothing else, Obama showed he was ready to defend his first four years - at one point cataloging his promises delivered on everything from the end of the Iraq war to Wall Street reform - even if he fell short of offering a second-term vision. ...

It was a close, entertaining debate — Tulsa World Editorial

... No matter who you were rooting for, it was an entertaining match. For both it was punch, counter-punch. They stalked each other like fighters in a ring, often coming close enough to literally get in a jab or two.

The real Obama showed up and found a tough opponent waiting.

Obama makes gains; Romney does, too — Arizona Republic Editorial

The world out there offers few certainties. That President Barack Obama would improve his debate performance against Mitt Romney is one of those rare exceptions.

And so it came to pass. ...

Obama regains footing in second debate — Kansas City Star Editorial

... Obama faced the steeper challenge, coming off his sleepwalk through the first debate. His return was strong and passionate, and should bring huge relief to his Democratic base.

Romney, ramping up his domineering, interruption-prone style, may have taken the "leadership" trait a step too far Tuesday night, edging into bullying territory. ...

Obama back in the game — Eugene Register-Guard Editorial

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