In early September the Barack Obama tanks rolled and the president built up a lead. In early October the Mitt Romney counterattack brought this presidential campaign back to a tie. Last night’s debate was a tie, with President Obama (helped by his running mate, Candy Crowley) doing fine in the last half hour instead of falling asleep. And so we race to the finish, with each side now working to rally its troops. Trench warfare, or at least trench mouth.
Whoa, CNN’s Crowley is carrying an AK-47 for Obama? Yup. I was in the minority of conservatives who thought the moderators in the first two debates were fine, but Crowley half-a-dozen times helped Obama, particularly when Gov. Romney was starting to nail Obama for blaming the Libya murders on a movie rather than identifying them correctly as a terrorist act.
When the two candidates disagreed, Crowley jumped in and said Obama was right—and the president happily asked, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” How loud does a moderator have to be to show her bias? By the way, did you know that Obama is actually a moderate, and that the reason he likes Planned Parenthood is because it offers breast exams? (He isn’t and it doesn’t.)
F. Scott Fitzgerald closed The Great Gatsby with a great line: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” We have less than three weeks to go until Nov. 6 and the campaign current is bearing us back to 2000, with Ohio and Florida the probable deciders. A rout either way now seems unlikely: It will all depend not on who is right but which campaign ground game is better.