In his first formal press conference in months, Barack Obama showed that getting re-elected can increase a president's confidence and combativeness. He staked out tough stands on several issues, especially on the looming budget negotiations.
Back in May, I wrote a column laying out possible scenarios for the 2012 campaign different from the conventional wisdom that it would be a long, hard slog through a fixed list of target states like the race in 2004.
Wednesday night's presidential debate in which Mitt Romney shellacked Barack Obama attracted the biggest audience since the debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan seven days before the 1980 election.
Mitt Romney was 13 years old and Barack Obama had not been born when an energetic-looking John Kennedy, 43, and a tired-looking Richard Nixon, 47, walked into the WBBM-TV studio in Chicago for the first general election debate between presidential candidates.
"The most important lesson I've learned is that you can't change Washington from the inside," Barack Obama said in an interview Thursday on the Spanish-language Univision network. "You can only change it from the outside."
This is a tale of two cities. No, not Dickens' phlegmatic London and passionate Paris. Nor the two neighborhoods Charles Murray contrasted in his recent bestseller "Coming Apart" -- prosperous but isolated Belmont (actually, Mitt Romney's home for decades) and needy and disorganized Fishtown.
There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth as, in the spring, it appeared that forces supporting Mitt Romney would be able to raise about as much money as those supporting Barack Obama. There's even more now that it seems likely that the pro-Romney side will raise and spend more money than the pro-Obama side.