By MICHAEL GOODWIN –
It’s the future, stupid.
If the test of last night’s showdown is whether President Obama was more aggressive and energetic than he was in the first debate, then he wins the Comeback Kid award. But if the standard is who is more focused and better prepared to create jobs and improve the American economy in the next four years, then the winner was Mitt Romney.
He looks and sounds increasingly like a man who is ready to take on the enormous challenges of being president.
Romney’s performance wasn’t perfect, but it should keep the Big Mo on his side, even if he hasn’t made the final sale to undecided voters. He did, however, clear another hurdle by being on the same stage with a feisty, determined incumbent, and he gave at least as good as he got.
The thought that they might actually get physical at several points heightened the sense of well-matched opponents in an emotional race. But chest-bumping theater is for amateurs, and the ultimate test is leadership, here and around the world.