Today's "televised smackdown" between Obama and Cheney was the "political world's equivalent of Ali-Frazier," writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. After the president warned against "fear-mongering," Cheney came out swinging. He "used the word 'attack' 19 times, 'danger' and 'threat' six times apiece, and '9/11' an impressive 27 times. It was as if all the angry thoughts edited out of his speeches by Bush aides over eight years were finally free to tumble forth."
Given their popularity ratings, the president should be the easy victor in this debate, but "for the moment, at least, Obama's intellectual arguments can't match Cheney's visceral rage." Obama "seemed slightly off his game" and mostly "defensive," while Cheney sneered and growled. "It is a serious step to begin unraveling some of the very policies that have kept our people safe since 9/11," he warned. Concludes Milbank: "A swift uppercut to Obama's chin! Nine more 9/11 jabs and Cheney was ready for his rubdown."