They call him Cool Barry and No Drama Obama, but President Barack Obama appears to be losing his nerve in the final fortnight of the race for his second term.
Obama is quoted in an interview for Rolling Stone using the expression "bull****ter" regarding his opponent, Mitt Romney.
In the interview, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley recorded a conversation between Obama and Eric Bates, the executive editor of Rolling Stone. Bates told Obama that he had asked his six-year-old daughter if she had a message for the president, and she said: "Tell him: you can do it."
Obama then replied with a grin: "You know, kids have good instincts. They look at the other guy and say, 'Well, that's a bull****ter, I can tell'.
Asked to explain Obama's remark, spokesman Dan Pfeiffer told reporters that he hadn't seen the article. However, he went on to say: "Trust is a very important part of the election. The president is someone who says what he means and does what he says, and Governor Romney's answers in the debates on domestic issues and foreign policy raise real questions about that."
Civility in any presidential contest is expected, but it is probably more important in this one, because of the race factor. Uncivil language by Romney toward Obama would probably immediately be viewed as a evidence of racism, but by the same token, uncivil language by Obama could cause resentment among white supporters, and also play into the hands of people who oppose him for the wrong reasons.