Top Five: Presidential Campaign Heats Up with Debate No. 2

President Obama was so pleased with his performance at this week’s debate with Mitt Romney that the president was able to joke about his lackluster first debate when he appeared at a star-studded banquet in New York City Thursday night.

But, did the president’s energetic debate performance help him leap ahead of his opponent? That remains to be seen. For now, though, it’s not debatable that this week’s clash between the two candidates on Long Island was the TV highlight of the week.

And we suspect that next week’s debate — Monday in Florida, and the last of the campaign — will be that week’s best drama as well. The topic up for discussion: Foreign policy.

What else drew our attention this week? Well, other than baseball (we were glued to the Tigers’ sweep of the hapless Yankees), the other thing we found amazing was (1) that not only did Honey Boo Boo get an opportunity to actually announce her endorsement for President (she’s for Obama), but that (2) President Obama actually was aware of it and mentioned it in remarks he made at that dinner he attended in Manhattan on Thursday.

What can we say? It’s election season in America.

1) Debate II: The thing that struck us most about this week’s presidential debate were the moments in which the two men became so physically close to each other that you were able to actually conjure up the possibility, however unlikely, that the two would actually exchange shoves if not outright blows. Thank heaven Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have some self-control because the way these two were moving around and near each other, if they had been just two ordinary guys in a barroom doing that, fists would have flown.

This story, from “The NBC Nightly News” this week, has the details:
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2) Bill O’Reilly reacts: In the interest of impartiality — or as some folks call it, “fair and balanced” — we give you these two diverging opinions of Tuesday’s debate, as we did last week as well. The first is from Bill O’Reilly of Fox News Channel. In his Wednesday night “Talking Points Memo” on “The O’Reilly Factor,” he analyzed how both men did. In the process, he pointed out each of their best and weakest moments (at least according to him).

Watch Bill O’Reilly’s reaction to this week’s debate:
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3) Jon Stewart’s point-of-view: On “The Daily Show” on Wednesday, Jon Stewart heralded the return of President Obama’s vigor and energy — the two things missing from Debate No. 1.

Here’s the “Daily Show” reaction to Debate II:
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4) Honey Boo Boo comes out for “Marack” Obama: OK, so she mispronounced the president’s first name when she “endorsed” him for re-election on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” She’s 7. Incredibly, it was Honey Boo Boo’s (and mom June’s) first-ever visit to a late-night show — even though all of the late-night hosts have been doing monologue jokes about Honey Boo Boo and her reality-TV family since August. Hats off to Jimmy Kimmel for grabbing Honey Boo Boo first, and then making news with her endorsement (ridiculous as it was).

Watch Honey Boo Boo make her late-night debut on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”:
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5) Farewell to a monkey: Dispensing with the political goings-on for the fifth item in this week’s Top Five, we turn our attention to this week’s casualty of the fall season, “Animal Practice” on NBC — which was cancelled following Wednesday night’s episode. Oh, well. We had high hopes for this sitcom about a New York veterinary hospital that was known colloquially as “the show with the monkey.” That would be Crystal, a female capuchin that played this show’s funniest character — a monkey in human clothes. And so we mourn the demise of this monkey show.

Watch it one last time, right here:
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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