Here's O'Rourke's entire statement of why she was voting for Obama:
For his charisma, his cautiousness, and his cool. In a time of high stakes, we need someone who can sort out the best course of action without bridling in anger. A candidate who actually nods when his opponent makes a powerful counterargument—as Obama did several times during the last debate—is a rare bird. Of course, Obama is untested in many regards. My main concern about him is this: How will he deal with making an unpopular or tough decision? Can he keep his cool then without losing confidence in himself? I believe so, and that's why he has my vote.If you Google that text, you'll get to the document that has the many statements of various writers. I predict there's a lot of raw material for analyzing the state of affairs today. State of affairs... the state of America's affair with Barack Obama.
If you love a man, his passive nodding means one thing. If you've fallen out of love, it's something else. Obama's demeanor at the first debate didn't diminish our affection for him; our reaction to it was evidence of how we already felt.
What can he do now? Act some different way at debate #2? If my hypothesis is correct, it doesn't matter what he does. We won't like it.
ADDED: I'm rooting around in that Slate document. Here's Tim Wu, evincing the classic '08 madness:
Most of all, I like his obvious inner calm. It suggests that his decisions will come from somewhere other than expediency, anger, or fear. It's like electing Obi-Wan Kenobi as president.And here's some prescience:
Emily Yoffe, "Dear Prudence" Columnist: Obama
Please, please, Barack, don't become another Jimmy Carter.