The Heritage Foundation eviscerates the Obama administration in a brutal video highlighting the inconsistencies in it’s timeline on what happened during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
“A pro-life, family-values congressman who worked as a doctor before winning election as a Tea Party-backed Republican had an affair with a patient and later pressured her to get an abortion,” according to a phone call transcript obtained by the Huffington Post.
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) “was trying to save his marriage at the time, according to his remarks on the call, made in September of 2000. And, according to three independent sources familiar with the call and the recording, he made the tape himself.”
First Read: “While vice-presidential debates typically don’t have much bearing on the presidential contest, tomorrow night’s Joe Biden-vs.-Paul Ryan showdown has put pressure on both sides. Team Obama NEEDS a strong performance from Biden to make up for last week and change the subject; another bad outing by a member of the ticket and the Democratic handwringing could turn into a full-fledged panic. Meanwhile, Team Romney needs a solid outing from Ryan to keep up the momentum.”
“As we wrote last week, consider tomorrow night Game 2 of a baseball playoff series. After ace Romney beat ace Obama in Game 1, Democrats are looking for their No. 2 starter, Biden, to even the score. And Republicans are looking to go 2-0. That’s what at stake Thursday, and that’s why there’s more pressure on Biden than on Ryan.”
The Week The most important vice presidential debate ever?
The big political story of the day may be Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
First Read: “How concerned is the Obama administration about today’s hearing, which starts at noon ET? Concerned enough that the State Department — after weeks of near-silence — yesterday gave a tick-tock of what happened in Libya, and that tick-tock doesn’t even remotely match what UN Ambassador Susan Rice said in the days after the attack (that it was sparked by that anti-Islam video and that it wasn’t premeditated). Of course, the Obama administration has since revised its story, and it’s better to be late than never. But there’s no doubt that today’s hearing is going to be – at the very least — a headache for the White House.”
Interestingly, the Washington Post reports Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not appear at the hearing. The State Department “will instead send a trusted career diplomat along with three security officials.”
Nate Silver: “The forecast model is not quite ready to jump on board with the notion that the race has become a literal toss-up; Mr. Romney will need to maintain his bounce for a few more days, or extend it into high-quality polls of swing states, before we can be surer about that.”
“But we are ready to conclude that one night in Denver undid most of the advantage Mr. Obama had appeared to gain in September.”
A Bloomberg analysis finds that Democrats hold the registration advantage over Republicans in four of six battleground states that will play a key role in the presidential election.
“Democrats have the edge over Republicans in Florida, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina. In Colorado and New Hampshire, Republicans outnumber Democrats, according to the analysis of state data. Three other battlegrounds — Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin — don’t report registration statistics by party.”
Mitt Romney told the Des Moines Register that he has no plans to push for legislation limiting abortion, an abrupt switch for a candidate who has said he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Said Romney: “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”
Spokeswoman Andrea Saul later walked back the comment telling the National Review that Romney “would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.”
Mark Halperin: “If the Obama campaign has cracked the code on how to make Mitt Romney pay a political price for his late rush to the center on tone and emphasis, we haven’t seen them execute their full plan yet. That might be the central tactical question in the presidential contest right now.”
Sarah Palin sends an email to People magazine:
“Our family is writing a book on fitness and self-discipline focusing on where we get our energy and balance as we still eat our beloved homemade comfort foods!”
“That’s my party: Irrational overconfidence followed by irrational despair.”
Democratic consultant Jim Jordan, quoted by Politico, on the growing angst among Democrats as Mitt Romney surges in the polls.
BuzzFeed: “In the blur of well-heeled good looks and generic charisma that defines the public perception of the Romney brood, it’s easy for outside observers to differentiate among them, and to miss the increasingly active role being seized by the candidate’s eldest son. But over the past two months, Tagg has emerged not only as his father’s most motivated surrogate, but also as his most trusted ally and key political adviser.”
Politico looks at the unusual TV-buying strategy by the Romney campaign.
“Unlike other presidential campaigns, which typically outsource their ad reservations and placement to specialized firms with large teams that know how to make the most of the complicated FCC payment procedures, Romney does all his TV buying in-house through a lean operation headed by a single chief buyer.”
“The campaign rarely buys cable ad time, focusing overwhelmingly on broadcast television. Romney places his commercials on a week-to-week basis, rather than booking time well in advance, and typically pays more so that his ads don’t get preempted and to spare his campaign the hassle of haggling over time as prices rise.”
First Read: “If Obama ends up winning the presidential contest, it could very well
come down to this: Team Obama has a tactical advantage over Team Romney,
and that’s especially true when it comes to advertising strategy.”
Jack Welch: “Imagine a country where challenging the ruling authorities — questioning, say, a piece of data released by central headquarters — would result in mobs of administration sympathizers claiming you should feel “embarrassed” and labeling you a fool, or worse. Soviet Russia perhaps? Communist China? Nope, that would be the United States right now, when a person (like me, for instance) suggests that a certain government datum (like the September unemployment rate of 7.8%) doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately for those who would like me to pipe down, the 7.8% unemployment figure released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week is downright implausible. And that’s why I made a stink about it.”
Washington Post: “Two presidential campaigns dealing with sudden reversals of fortune descended on this must-have state Tuesday, one hoping to sustain a new momentum, the other hoping to regain its footing. In both rhetoric and demeanor, President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney came to Ohio acutely aware of the altered terrain. Romney, buoyed by new polls that show him pulling ahead of the president, has shed the languid pace that characterized his travels as recently as last weekend. He appears renewed, even ebullient, and so do his crowds…”
“The race comes down to a few crucial battleground states, none more important than Ohio. And Romney has struggled here.”
Amy Walter: “To win the Buckeye State, Romney needs to do more than close the polling gap or win the early voting race. The Republican nominee has got to re-make his image which has taken a pounding by relentless attacks by Democrats. Can he show Ohioans that he shares their middle class values? Or have Ohioans already formed a solid opinion of him that can’t be changed in the last four weeks?”
The AP reports the presidential battleground map “is as compact as it’s been in decades, with just nine states seeing the bulk of candidate visits, campaign ads and get-out-the-vote efforts in the hunt for the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. That means just a fraction of Americans will determine the outcome of the race for the White House.”
“We weren’t geniuses last week and we’re not stupid this week. It’s going to be a tight race. We’ve always said that.”
— An unnamed Obama adviser, in an interview with Mark Halperin, while adding that “we have more routes to win than he does.”