Was poised, clear, and confident perfectly comfortable in front of an audience of prominent black Americans. With national security playing a far smaller role than in past debates, he seemed less worried about being caught off guard or overwhelmed. Occasionally added some crowd-pleasing zest to his usual low-key, intellectual style. Still, Obama was less specific about policies than some of his rivals. Labeled the criminal justice system "not colorblind" in a carefully constructed answer. Had a humorous interaction with his wife, Michelle, who was sitting in the audience, at the expense of Joe Biden's awkward AIDS test commentary.
By Mark Halperin
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