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Obama needs to dig deep for tonight’s second presidential debate

USABarack Obama needs to rediscover his 'elegance and eloquence' to halt the momentum of Mitt Romney’s bid for the White House in tonight’s second televised presidential debate.

Greg Frame, from the Department of Film and Television Studies, has researched Obama’s imagery and, in particular, the way he has tried to emulate John F Kennedy. He said Obama needed to rediscover his ‘elegance and eloquence’ in tonight’s debate.

He said: “Since the first debate, most polls indicate the race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney has tightened. Obama will be hoping he rediscovers his elegance and eloquence, qualities he appeared to have misplaced in a poor debate performance. This one will focus on domestic and foreign policy issues, with Obama on considerably surer ground in foreign matters. But none of that will matter unless he acts the part - as Romney demonstrated in the first debate, unpopular or unclear policies can be easily disguised by a sunny and ebullient demeanour, with a healthy dose of competitive aggression thrown in. This is the race for the American presidency, so Obama has to show he is willing to fight for it."

University of Warwick sociologist Dr Alex Smith’s area of expertise is US politics and religion and he believes Obama was caught off-guard by Romney’s confidence in the first debate.

Dr Smith said: 'Mitt Romney exceeded most people's expectations in his first televised Presidential debate with Barack Obama, who was caught off guard by the sure-handedness of the Republican challenger. With polls indicating that the race for the White House has tightened considerably over the last two weeks, it was important for the Democratic incumbent Joe Biden to perform well in last week's Vice Presidential debate with the Republican Paul Ryan. Ahead of the second Presidential debate, Obama is now under pressure to build on Biden's strong showing last Thursday and halt the momentum Romney appears to be building ahead of the election, now only three weeks away.'

Dr Alex Smith and Greg Frame are available for comment. We have an ISDN line on campus for radio interviews and a Globelynx camera on campus for TV interviews. Please contact Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Press and Communication Manager, University of Warwick, 02476 150868, 07824 5408963,

See Also

Dr Alex Smith on Why it matters that Mitt Romney is a Mormon

Dr Alex Smith on Twitter @AlexTTSmith

Greg Frame on Twitter @greggles97

Dr Alex Smith's blog

More information on Warwick's Department of Sociology

More information on Warwick's Department of Film and TV Studies


Listen to Greg discussing how Barack Obama uses the imagery of JFK