BOSTON (CBS) – There are many explanations being tossed around for the stinker of a debate performance turned in Wednesday night by President Obama, everything from lack of debate prep to altitude sickness from being in Denver.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Most of them are pretty silly.

Perhaps the best analysis occurred to those who recall the Celtics, after playing superbly in the first five games of their playoff with Miami last spring, laying an egg in game six – sometimes, you just go out there and lay an egg.

But one theory I’ve heard struck me as especially intriguing.

It says that Mr. Obama has built so much of his success on keeping his cool that he overdid the self-restraint in the debate because he has so much contempt for Mitt Romney that he had to overdo it just to keep from lashing out.

If true, that was probably a wise move.

To the extent that Mr. Obama got elected in the first place because he was calm and collected, it wouldn’t do to start frothing at the mouth now, especially when confronted with an opponent he’s beating in key polls.

On the other hand, if it’s true that the president has such contempt for Governor Romney that he constrained himself to the point of almost disappearing into the woodwork, it’s troubling.

What would be the source of such abject distaste?

Their differences of political opinion? That wouldn’t bode well for the president’s ability to reach across the aisle in a second term.

Their differences of background? That would reflect a surprising lack of maturity.

Or is it simply that Romney wants to take away his job? I can see why he wouldn’t like that, and would want to fight as hard as he can to keep it.

But contempt to the point of irrational self-suffocation? Not very classy, if true.

And that’s why I don’t buy it.

When I look at the president’s family, and Mr. Romney’s, for that matter, I see the work of a classy man.

No, I think he just laid an egg.

And Romney, to his credit, scrambled it and ate it.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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