There’s no doubt President Obama’s liberal supporters are worried by his lackluster performance in the Denver debate. “Everyone is in shock,” one show-business liberal told the Hollywood reporter. “No one can understand what happened.” The Obama faithful are offering the White House advice, talking points, pep talks — anything to improve the president’s performance when he next faces Mitt Romney at Hofstra University on October 16.

But for some liberal writers, the concern goes deeper. Perhaps Obama’s somewhat withdrawn demeanor at the debate was an indication that he doesn’t even want a second term as president.

On the morning after the debate, The Atlantic ran an analysis headlined, “Snippy Obama, Whose Heart’s Not In It.” Writer Garance Franke-Ruta suggested that Obama, as an unusually sensitive man, has been worn down by the presidency’s demands of conducting war in Afghanistan and dealing with crises like the murder of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya. “His supporters keep wanting Obama to be who he was in 2008,” Franke-Ruta wrote. “But that’s not who he is anymore.” Obama’s old enthusiasm for the job is simply gone.

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