Rematch between Obama and Romney

Tonight millions of American, as well as at least one Brit, will watch the second televised debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney (8 p.m. CST, 9 p.m. EST).

Questions will come from the audience in the style of a town hall meeting–a nod to how America used to be run during the nation’s fledging days.

After Romney won the first debate, there’s a lot riding on this one and it’s fair to say Obama may be coming into it as the underdog. Much else is uncertain: do the debates really influence voters’ decisions?

One reaction to Obama’s lacklustre performance in the first debate which I found particularly interesting was the suggestion it illustrated how tired he has become, physically and emotionally, and that he might simply not want to be president any more.

Could one blame him? He came into the job hoping to unite the country, bridging the gap between republicans and democrats, but has ended up being one of the most divisive presidents, him and his policies loathed by much of the population.

It’s hard to say how much of that is down to Obama’s mistakes and how much is down to an ugly side of America that Obama helped put a mirror up to–most people don’t like to be reminded about that sort of thing and tend to react bitterly.

For me, Obama’s previous decision to work as a community organizer in a deprived neighborhood of Chicago  still stands out as a true measure of the man.