Albert Hunt of Bloomberg reports this today:
"There may be only one impediment to President Barack Obama maintaining his small lead in the presidential election over the next week: arrogance.
For all the focus on the first debate between Obama and the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, in Denver on Oct. 3, history suggests these forums rarely are settled on substance; Romney and the president both are smart and cautious, not gaffe-prone. The very few game-changers in debates occur when a candidate makes a mistake or exposes an unattractive personality trait.
Obama and his top political advisers basically are contemptuous of their opponent, according to people who've spent time with the president in private."
President Obama's temptation will surely be to keep Gov. Romney on a different level - a type of dishonoring condescension. BHO's people will surely say that this must be done. His own debate style will dictate this as a proper means. It's what he has done in the past.
But if he does this, he will cause undecideds to flinch.
Because NOBODY likes a jerk.
No one watching the debates wants to see dishonor - not of either candidate by either candidate.
The problem may well be one of President Obama not having to go one-on-one for a long time with an opponent; that every President becomes cocooned by his staff of yes-men is a truism. It happens.
Romney will hold the Presidency in respect. He will most likely hold Mr. Obama in respect.
Arrogance is often the mark of a political candidate who has never lost a general election; Mr. Obama has never lost such an election, though he was deprived a nomination in 2000 for US Congress.
That could be a deciding factor in how undecided voters perceive the candidates on Wednesday, when the debate dust settles.
If Romney comes off as a wealthy know-it-all white guy speaking down to a young man of color, he might as well spray the (above) cologne on, as well.
Humility wins. Every time.