Your move, Mr. President: Obama’s biggest night yet

Prep time for both candidates before the second debate winds down to zero at 9 p.m. tonight.

Sixty-seven million people.

That’s how many people tuned in to watch the first debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney — or what the Obama campaign might as well call the “Debacle in Denver.”

The president went into that debate Oct. 5 with the chance to put Romney in his rearview window for good, holding commanding leads in most national and swing-state polls, taking in a record amount of donations in September and watching Romney on the verge of campaign self-destruction.

All the pressure was on Romney. And he came through, or more like it, Obama bombed.

Whatever the reason for the horrible debate performance, the pressure has swung completely in the other direction — and onto the sitting president’s shoulders. Can he deliver in the clutch?

Does he even want another four years?

These questions may be answered Tuesday night at New York’s Hofstra University.

Here’s Metro’s look ahead at the second of three presidential debates, with special emphasis on what us 70 million viewers can expect from Obama.

Candy won’t be so sweet as moderator

For the first time in 20 years, a woman will moderate a presidential debate, as CNN’s Candy Crowley will moderate the “town hall” format.

And she’s already making a mark on the debate, even before it starts, which is in stark contrast to PBS newsman Jim Lehrer, who took some hits for his out-of-the-way moderating in the first debate earlier this month. Crowley has reportedly indicated that she will use citizens’ questions as a way to dig into certain topics with Obama and Romney, instead of simply allowing the candidates to answer the questions directly.

On Oct. 5, she told CNN viewers that “once the table is kind of set by the town hall questioner, there is then time for me to say, ‘Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y and Z?’” according to the Washington Post.

Both campaigns are reportedly in crisis mode over her promised approach, but no one publicly talked to reporters yesterday. 

Romney took first round, pressure’s on Obama

The onus to perform in this debate shifts to Obama after his poor showing against  Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the first debate. Here’s some factors likely to affect his performance tonight:
   
Political experts said Obama needs to be more aggressive and definitive in expressing his message.

I think the number one thing he has to do is he has to define the difference between his administration and the type of administration the Romney team is talking about,” said Philadelphia political consultant Maurice Floyd, who worked on campaigns for former mayors John Street and Ed Rendell. He added that there’s a fine line for the president between being aggressive and seeming agitated.

As an African-American … you’re always faced with the ‘angry black man’ syndrome,” he said.

Experts agree that the town-hall format should favor Obama, allowing him to show off his people skills, while Romney could be forced to reveal more about his specific plans for addressing the economy than he has given to date.

“This really is Obama’s strong suit, so the format should tend to favor him slightly,” said Temple University political science professor Robin Kolodny. “[For Romney], this is going to be a little bit different for him because what he got away with in the first debate was to be effective stylistically, but on substance not answer questions in detail, and usually the town hall format doesn’t let you get away with that.”

While some experts say the debates have little effect on voters, Floyd and Kolodny said Obama needs to reassure his base with a solid performance.
   
“Obama could use a better performance out of here to make his base more enthusiastic,” Kolodny said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…