White House “insiders” are trotting out a new line, and of course Politico obligingly puts it at the top of the page:
Democrats close to the president privately acknowledge that their candidate appeared flat and uninspired against a more animated challenger, resulting in the worst debate showing he’s had since the early days of the 2008 campaign. Even more frustrating to many Obama supporters was the fact that the president’s muted tone was at least partly by design.
He meant to do that? Really, that’s what we’re supposed to swallow?