Remember when there was a flap about Fox News and the White House Press room? Fox had annoyed Obama and there was some restrictions entertained on their presence at the press room. When the press corps stood up in defense of Fox, instead of defending their position with a list of Fox presentations that clearly show them to be an extension of the Republican Party not a news organization the White House hem-hawed and backed down.
This pattern repeats again and again. When the administration attempted to bargain with the Republicans in congress he gave up plenty but got back-stabbed with virtually zero Republican votes. And in the debate wednesday, while Mitt-wit rudely and aggressively mis-represented his and the President's positions, Obama failed to zero in on the very real weaknesses in Romney's program and philosophy.
Obama was asked if his stand on social security differed from his opponent and he said, "NO!" Here is the Democrat's strongest issue and he says no, no difference. Later Romney's voucher plan was aired but minus the emphasis such a startling contrast, privatization versus defense of one government program that really works, deserves. The Dems have this odd notion that they should comport themselves like "gentlemen", which ends up translating, wimp. The Republicans do not buy into this particular thesis nor do they have much of a relationship with integrity or truth, as the fact-checkers can tell you.
Noam Chomsky has pointed out that the two most urgent issues, climate change and nuclear weapons, issues that seriously threaten our civilization were not even mentioned in the first debate. The race for the most powerful office on the planet reduces to a beauty contest with the candidates maneuvering to peel off the layer of their opponent's least committed supporters without alienating their most committed. The challenger of course comes from a party less restrained by principle, both in what they will say and what they will steal.