"Through it all he was confident—'Eric, don't call my bluff'—because he believed, as did his staff, that his talents would save the day. They saved nothing. Washington became immobilized."
Peggy Noonan, drawing on Bob Woodward's "The Price of Politics."
Also at the link: Noonan's analysis of the first debate and her basis for believing that the Obama we saw there was the "real Obama."