President Obama listens as the human Etch A Sketch changes positions yet again during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University, Oct. 16, 2012.
. . . when [Romney] said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the country considers themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility—think about who he was talking about: folks on Social Security who’ve worked all their lives, veterans who’ve sacrificed for this country, students . . . , soldiers who are overseas fighting for us right now, people who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don’t make enough income. . . .
And when my grandfather fought in World War II and he came back and he got a GI Bill and that allowed him to go to college, that wasn’t a handout. That was something that advanced the entire country, and I want to make sure that the next generation has those same opportunities. That’s why I’m asking for your vote and that’s why I’m asking for another four years. —President Barack Obama, closing remarks  of 2nd presidential debate, Oct. 16, 2012
We’ll spare you from a detailed review of President Obama’s performance in Tuesday night’s debate, about which many others have written eloquently (see below), but we are more than delighted to see again the tough, focused fighter his supporters sorely missed in Round One. We’ll just say we loved the way the president skipped the niceties and went directly on the attack:
Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector; that’s been his philosophy as govqernor; that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate. You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less. You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money.
That’s exactly the philosophy that we’ve seen in place for the last decade. That’s what’s been squeezing middle-class families. And we have fought back for four years to get out of that mess, and the last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us there.
We’ve Got His Back—and You Can Help, Too
Early Saturday morning we’ll be boarding an Obama-Biden bus to Philadelphia (as we did in 2008) to assist the campaign in going door to door to get out the vote. Watch this space for a report of the experience—possibly with photos. Meanwhile we urge all our readers to sign up with Obama-Biden  today, or contact  your local Democratic Party headquarters, and help with the campaign. You can make phone calls from home, help to contact voters in swing states, write letters to the editors of your local papers, and more! Less than three weeks, folks, till one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime. Let’s keep the good man on the job.
And remember: After Obama wins on November 6, we’ll need to keep working: pushing Congress to pass legislation, writing letters to editors, and generally keep working on the progressive causes, because the gridlock, filibustering, and conservative opposition will only intensify. So, are we all in?
NYT editorial: Mr. Obama Comes Back 
Hendrik Hertzberg @ New Yorker: Obama-Romney, Game Two: Good Field, No Hit 
Benjy Carlin @ TPM: Fired Up Obama Storms Back with Strong Second Debate 
Steve Kornacki @ Salon: This Thing’s Not Over Yet: What Could Still Sink Obama 
Jeff Madrick @ Next New Deal: Despite a Strong Debate, Obama Remains Vulnerable on the Economy 
Robert Reich: Obama Is Back 
Eugene Robinson: Obama Punches Back 
Peter Z. Scheer @ Truthdig: If You Don’t Vote, You’re a Loser 
Photo credit: Richard Perry/The New York Times