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Debating the second presidential debate [Google+ hangout]

October 17, 2012|By James Rainey

The second Obama-Romney debate featured much more spirited exchanges than debate No. 1 two weeks ago. And Politics Now’s video Debate of the Debate — pitting liberal Times Columnist Michael Hiltzik against conservative blogger Jon Fleischman — promises more of the same.

We’re not guaranteeing the “quien es mas macho”-style stare downs that President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney exchanged Tuesday night at Hofstra University in New York. But there will be plenty of energy at 10:30 a.m. PDT, 1:30 EDT, from Hiltzik, an authority on business and economic history, and Fleischman, a one-time California Republican Party official and editor of the conservative Flash Report blog.

The two will discuss how Obama brought new passion and energy to the second debate and whether that was enough to overcome the calm competence of Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

PHOTOS: Memorable presidential debate moments

We will talk about how the two handled questions about the economy and a particularly tense exchange about the situation in Libya. Romney fought the president on whether he had clearly recognized the attack on the U.S. consulate as “terror.” Was he right? Or was there a better line of attack against Obama's handling of the Libyan crisis?

The combination of a town-hall format and unrestricted subject matter brought a wide range of issues into the debate and some — like equal pay for women — seemed particularly suited to Obama’s efforts to try to maintain his lead among women voters. How did Romney handle that challenge?

Romney’s relied on repeated recitations of the economic fundamentals — high unemployment, rising national debt — that he said should disqualify Obama from a second term. The president said negative trends have begun to turn around and that the country should not go back to Republican policies he said brought America to the brink of economic disaster.

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