Good morning folks,
In a must read, the New York Times’ Mark Landler and Peter Baker reveal a growing sense of panic developing in Chicago. “Under fire from fellow Democrats, Mr. Obama came out swinging, accusing Mr. Romney of lying to the American people about his plans for the nation. “I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney,” Mr. Obama told 12,000 supporters during a lakeside rally. “But it couldn’t be Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow onstage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.” …The vigorous assault on Mr. Romney suggested just how worried Mr. Obama’s campaign has become.”
In an ironic twist, it is ACTUALLY President Obama who now appears to have two personas. As the National Journal points out, “The feisty Obama onstage Thursday was a stark contrast to“President Xanax,” as New York Times columnist Charles Blow called the listless Obama who showed up to debate.”
President Obama is starting to remind people of that guy we all knew in high school who gets his butt kicked in front of the entire school, yet the next day brags to his friends and anyone else who will listen about how he would’ve, could’ve, should’ve won, only if…. People do not like being misled, and one of the reasons for a growing panic in Chicago is that Americans are beginning to feel misled about who Obama is, who Romney is, and the media portrayals of both. That is a good thing for Governor Romney, and the key to any surge is to keep the foot on the gas.
Today’s subpar, tired jobs report is a reflection of this President and the last several years. Flat. Stale. Going nowhere. Time for the GOP to keep our foot on the gas.
ATTENTION 4TH ESTATE
If you are a re journalist, please read this column from Robert Samuelson: After 47 percent, the campaign’s most incendiary number is $5 trillion. That’s the tax cut planned by Mitt Romney with most benefits going to the wealthy, according to President Obama and his campaign. The president has used the figure repeatedly, as have his surrogates and ads. In Wednesday’s debate,Romney vehemently denied that there ever was a $5 trillion tax cut for the rich. He’s right. The figure is a partisan construct that, somehow, has been given a pass by most of the media as one plausible version of the truth. It isn’t.
- To justify its $5 trillion figure — the estimated tax loss over a decade — the Obama campaign had to cherry-pick Romney’s proposal and the TPC analysis. It had to ignore any revenue raised by reducing tax breaks and assume that, faced with a conflict between the rich and the middle class, Romney would automatically side with the rich — as opposed to shielding the middle class from any tax increase. On Wednesday, Romney promised to protect the middle class.
“The media are rightly hounding Romney about how he’d offset revenue losses from his proposed cuts in tax rates. But the hounding ought to be evenhanded. Obama needs to be pressed on the many inconsistencies of his promises and policies.”
STATE OF PLAY
RECORD: 67.2 MILLION WATCHED: That’s 28% more than saw the first debate between Obama and John McCain in 2008:
40% – Record Levels of Student Loan Debt Hit Younger Households Hard – PEW: About one out of five (19%) of the nation’s households owed student debt in 2010, more than double the share two decades earlier and a significant rise from the 15% that owed such debt in 2007. The incidence of student debt has increased in nearly every demographic and economic category, as has the size of that debt. Going along with the overall increase, a record 40% of all households headed by someone younger than age 35 owe such debt, by far the highest share among any age group.
GET READY FOR THE CHICAGO WAY – Kim Strassel: Yet the painful reality is that the strategy Mr. Romney torpedoed on stage was the best Team Obama had. The president can’t run on his legislation; it isn’t liked. He can’t run on the economy; it’s terrible. Pivot to something sunny and big? Too late. And so the early indications from the Obama campaign are that it instead intends to go past Romney caricatures and straight to character assassination.….Mr. Romney’s Denver performance is the (now proven) model for how to answer these coming attacks. Bold. Specific. Energetic. A smile, and a touch of humor. The bigger the Romney campaign is, the smaller (and clothes-free) Mr. Obama’s will seem.
“I Can’t Watch This” – Obama supporter on debates, from HuffPost’s Jon Ward: Karen Essex, a fifty-something who came to the rally with her husband Mark, was harsher. “I watched the first ten minutes and then I had to turn it off, because I didn’t really think Obama showed up to debate it,” Essex said. “Romney did show up. I actually turned it off.” Essex said Obama won her over in 2008 with his debate performances against John McCain, the Republican candidate four years ago. But she said she was “surprised” and “disappointed” by Obama’s performance on Wednesday night. “I was like, ‘I can’t watch this,'” she said.
Chasing Rabbits – Via Mike Allen: Throughout the debate, Mitt Romney was the cool candidate — crisp in his vision and sincere about his capacity to protect the middle class and jobless. He was the Romney his friends have long described but the public has rarely seen. But the question now is how to sustain that performance against a ferociously competitive president whose campaign has done a superior job with ads and speeches at tearing apart Romney’s policies and public image. …“One night doesn’t transform the race, but the next three to five days can,” a Romney campaign official said. “We just have to stick to our plan and not chase all the rabbits David Axelrod is going to throw out.”
- LOOKING PRESIDENTIAL: Right now, the Romney high command is obsessed with making the candidate seem presidential, a plausible and ultimately preferable alternative to a sitting president. To this end, Romney will deliver a foreign policy speech Monday at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., and aides believe that event will help them capitalize on the fresh attention to the former governor. Romney will hit hard on the killings of U.S. officials in Libya as evidence that Obama both failed to anticipate threats and then blamed the attack on an anti-Muslim film instead of the terrorists is turned out to be.
- More to Come: POLITICO has learned Romney is considering adding major speeches on other issues, including the economy.
THE TAX CHOICE – LA Times Maeve Reston: Gillespie, who held a 3½-minute briefing before the Romney plane landed in the Shenadoah Valley, argued that Romney had effectively made his argument against what he described as Obama’s agenda of higher taxes, increased debt and higher health insurance premiums. “Today we’re going to focus very specifically on this area of taxes, which is a very sharp contrast going forward,” he said. …Romney plans to focus on the theme he honed last night — arguing that Obama’s tax policies would slow the growth of the economy and increase the “squeeze” on middle-class families.
TAKE 47% OFF THE TABLE – ROMNEY COMMENT WAS ‘COMPLETELY WRONG’ – via Morning Score: After doubling down and defending himself against criticism on the issue, Romney backtracked on the comments in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity Thursday night, saying the line came out “completely wrong.” “Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right. In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong. … And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent and that’s been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent.” The “47 percent” comments did not come up during the first debate, though Obama and his allies have made an issue of it since video of the comments surfaced last month.
THANKS SHERIFF JOE: Biden acknowledges he, Obama want to raise $1 trillion in taxes: For everyone who claims the Obama administration wants a $1 trillion tax hike, Joe Biden has a message: Yes, we do. The vice president was referring Thursday to the Democrats’ pledge to let the Bush-era tax rates for households making $250,000 and up expire at the end of the year, while maintaining current rates for other Americans. Republicans have called for maintaining the current rates for all Americans. The call for a tax hike on top earners was hardly new, but Biden’s characteristic bluntness gave Republicans fresh fodder to criticize the Democratic ticket just days after the vice president said the middle class has been buried during the past four years.
SIREN – QUINNIPIAC POLL CT SENATE
- Republican Linda McMahon 48% – Democratic U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy 47%
- 50% of McMahon backers are “very enthusiastic,” while 39% are “somewhat enthusiastic.” For Murphy, 27% are “very enthusiastic” and 55% are “somewhat enthusiastic.”
- Men back McMahon 52 – 45%, while women back Murphy 50-44%.
- Independent voters go Republican 52-43%
- Connecticut voters have a favorable opinion of McMahon – 45-41. Murphy gets a negative 36-40%
HOUSE RACE BUZZ
SABATO’S CRYSTAL BALL: 231 seats currently are safe, likely or leaning to the Republicans and 190 seats are safe, likely or leaning to the Democrats, with 14 toss-ups. We’re holding steady this week with our projection of a net Democratic gain of six seats. As we’ve been saying for months, there’s very little indication that Republicans will lose their House majority. But a hardening of opinion against Republicans and a greater willingness for one-party rule in Washington are the sort of things that benefit the Democrats’ House hopes, although we’ve yet to see such sentiments manifest themselves into uniform national movement toward the Democrats in House races. Chance are, they won’t: The last four reelected presidents — Richard Nixon (1972), Ronald Reagan (1984), Bill Clinton (1996) and George W. Bush (2004) — only won an average of 10 extra House seats for their respective parties in their reelection years. That’s only two-fifths of the seats Democrats need to net to win the House, and, even assuming Obama is reelected — which is not a sure thing by any means — it’s possible Democrats won’t even get to that average, let alone dramatically improve upon it.
NO WAVE, RATINGS UPDATE – VIA ROLL CALL: What a difference two years makes. At this point in 2010, as the GOP wave began to build, political handicappers and political operatives alike were trying to keep up with the number of newly competitive races moving onto the rapidly expanding House battleground. The same was true at this time in 2006 and 2008, when we were attempting to size up the coming Democratic waves. Fast-forward two years, and a month before Election Day we are taking House races off the board, as it becomes clear to both parties that contests they hoped to put in play just haven’t materialized this cycle. We expect there may be a few less competitive races that begin to move in the competitive direction, but that hasn’t happened to a large extent at this point. ROLL CALL MAP!
MA-6: TIERNEY IMPLODES, FAILS TO SHOW FOR DEBATE, REPRESENTED BY EMPTY CHAIR: Fox 25 hosted a debate for the 6th District candidates Thursday evening, but there was one noticable absence: incumbent Congressman John Tierney. Tierney did not attend the debate, as illustrated on the coverage with an empty chair with a microphone on it. “We have asked the congressman repeatedly here at Fox 25 to join us at this debate,” Fox 25’s Maria Stephanos said. “We gave him a whole host of dates that he could come in going all the way back to Sept. 20. His campaign has declined our request again and again saying that he has a full schedule.” Republican Richard Tisei was there, with Libertarian candidate David Fishman of Beverly. “I feel a little like Clint Eastwood that we’re going to be debating an empty chair,” Tisei said, seemingly amused. “Maria maybe it was the last time he did a debate with you.”
NC-07: New Ad From Young Gun David Rouzer Shows Democrat Mike McIntyre is a Zero:Republican David Rouzer gives incumbent Mike McIntyre the do-nothing Congress treatment in his latest TV ad titled “Zero.” Rouzer criticizes the Democrat for not doing enough in his tenure and aligning with President Obama’s stimulus efforts. The ad initially included no citations to prove the assertions in the ad. And the campaign did not release information on where and how often the ad is running. But Rouzer’s campaign later added citations. The 30-second spot is running in Wilmington only, an aide said.
NC-08: Getting to Know Young Gun Richard Hudson: Hudson said that he will “work across the aisles” with both Democrats and Republicans to get things accomplished. He told the audience that he previously worked as the Eighth Congressional District director for former GOP Rep. Robin Hayes, and has served as a chief of staff in Washington. According to Hudson, jobs creation and getting people back to work are the only real issues in his race against Kissell. “People are suffering and hurting,” he said. “Jobs are not out there. Policies are out of whack and creating uncertainty among those who would like to start a business.” Hudson said that stimulus money that was supposed to create jobs did not work and was money wasted. He also charged that Kissell had voted three times to lift the debt ceiling, a charge that Kissell denies. Hudson said that if elected, he would continue to stand up for his (conservative) values, work to bring jobs back to North Carolina, and be a strong advocate for agriculture.
IL-12: Young Gun Jason Plummer Towers Over Opponent, As Race Gets Testy: “We need more jobs. We don’t need millionaire trial lawyer Bill Enyart,” says one ad paid for by Plummer. “Meet Jason Plummer: He’s only had one full-time job working for his dad, but he has millions in the bank,” says a different ad that’s sponsored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. At 30 years old, Plummer is a young candidate. He ran for Illinois Lieutenant Governor in 2010 when he was only 28, but came up short. At the debates however, Plummer towers over his opponents at 6 feet 8 inches. His father founded R.P. Lumber, where Plummer serves as vice president. At the debates however, Plummer towers over his opponents at 6 feet 8 inches. His father founded R.P. Lumber, where Plummer serves as vice president. The Democratic Party has accused Plummer of inheriting the millions of dollars he’s worth. Plummer responded to that claim in an early debate. “You say I’m an inherited millionaire,” Plummer said in the Marion debate. “I look out there and I see my parents alive out there, both breathing. I’m not sure what I could have inherited from them.”
THIS & THAT
Oh Dear God: Hulk Hogan Threatens Lawsuit Over Sex Tape
Amityville Horror House for Sale -$955K – Demons Not Included
Seize the day… Enjoy the weekend…