Politico’s Arena asks: President Obama retreated to Williamsburg, Va., this weekend to undergo a three-day session of intense debate preparation.  After admitting that Mitt Romney likely had the upper hand in last week’s debate, the campaign is putting serious focus into preventing a repeat performance. What does Obama need to do to succeed in Tuesday night’s debate?  If Obama comes out swinging, can Mitt Romney still pull off another win?

“When President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney take the stage at Hofstra University on Tuesday night for the second presidential debate, the pressure to perform will be squarely on the incumbent. Thirteen days will have passed since Obama’s not-a-disaster-but-close performance in the first presidential debate in Denver, a showing that he and his campaign initially tried to shrug off as a draw but came around to admitting looked more like a rout for Romney,” writes Chris Cillizza. (Washington Post)

Room for Debate asks: Two weeks ago, the presidential campaign was over. The polls showed President Obama was going to win. Since the first presidential debate, Governor Romney has surged ahead in the polls. So is it over now? What would a presidential election be like if the media neither commissioned nor reported on any polls?(New York Times)

“As he tries to engineer a comeback in this week’s presidential debate, President Obama needs to recognize two things. First, when it comes to politics, Mitt Romney treats himself as a product, not a person. Second, Republicans cannot defend their proposals in terms that are acceptable to a majority of voters. . .You can imagine Romney someday saying: ‘Politicians are products, my friend,'” writes Brookings’ E.J. Dionne. (Washington Post)

Heritage’s Peter Brookes: This foreign policy’s failing worldwide (New York Post)

AEI’s Michael Barone: The outdated Big Bird Offensive. (National Review)

Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano: Missiles of next October. (Washington Examiner)