(DENVER) One of the enduring questions about Barack Obama is whether he is tough enough to get elected.
In the primaries, Hillary Clinton was the tough one. She even got introduced once as having the "testicular fortitude" to be president.
The John McCain camp has picked up where the primaries left off. Not so much playing the race card as playing the gender card. How else to explain their characterization of Obama as "fussy" or "hysterical."
As McCain's camp muscled onto the playing field this summer, Obama's lead vanished in a sea of questions about why he wasn't fighting back.
Well Thursday night, before tens of thousands, Obama answered those critics with some wild, haymaking right hands, left hooks, and an occasional knee to the Republicans.
"If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament and judgment to serve as commander-in-chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have," he bellowed.
"Temperament" was a cagey choice of words to resurrect doubts about McCain's legendary short fuse.
Then there was this:
"John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives."
To those who would question his love of country," Obama thundered: "I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first."
Wow. It would appear that Obama got the message and then some.
He tied a rope around McCain and tied him to George Bush.
"John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten per cent chance on change"
A week ago the McCain camp warned that the gloves are off. Obama heard that and took his off too.
Bare knucles anyone?