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“Erasing the Seriousness Gap”*

This was by far the meatiest, most detailed debate of the cycle.

Both Obama and Clinton projected strength and competence and a command of their material. But on that criteria alone, you have to score tonight a big victory for Obama.

The case against Obama hinges on his inexperience and supposed lack of depth. He’s clearly the more charismatic figure. He’s clearly a more gifted orator. He’s clearly got less baggage. He’s clearly struck a chord in the hearts of Americans in the way that Senator Clinton has not.

But is there enough there there?

Tonight, Obama cleared that bar. If you’re a core Hillary voter, this debate didn’t change your mind. But if you’re a Clinton voter by default — you like Obama but you’re not sure he really’s got the mettle to pull this off — I think you come away with a lot more confidence in letting your brain follow your heart out on a limb.

*Thanks C.

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