Gingrich not only is a highly effective debater, he has a capacity to surprisingly endorse positions that pull the rug out from under his opponents. In the debate the other night, what I most noticed was Gingrich's powerful condemnation of SOPA and PIPA - the now shelved Internet anti-piracy legislation that would have crippled the Internet.
In contrast, Obama was mostly silent about this and eventually came out with a mild backing off statement expressing reservations with the bills.
Obama cannot afford to be outflanked like this in the general election. My best advice would be that he be true to his progressive views, take a more libertarian position on respecting the First Amendment and the Constitution, support Occupy Wall Street, and energize his base which he has not especially done in the past few years.
Romney the robot - whom I called a Cylon back in 2008 (attention Battlestar Galactica fans) - would have been a push-over for Obama, or indeed any candidate with a real passion for his or her ideas and ideals.
Obama has that, and he'll need to call upon all of it to beat Gingrich. The Republican convention is still a long way off, and anything can happen in the rest of the primaries, but tonight could change everything.