New York Times Editors: President Obama "regained full command of his vision and his legacy, leaving Mitt Romney sputtering with half-answers, deceptions and one memorable error." ...
... Some of the Times' regular op-ed contributors give their early reactions to the debate. ...
... Ross Douthat writes a fair & balanced (and here I mean that) right-wing perspective on the debate. ...
... By contrast, Stephen Stromberg, a reliable liberal, was disappointed by what Obama didn't say. ...
... CW: generally speaking, they are outraged over there in Right Wing World, outrage being their natural state of being. So, today, you get headlines like this: "Candy Crowley disgraces herself with outrageous tagteam hit on Romney over Libya" and "Michelle Obama broke agreed upon rules, clapped at debate."
You'll get your chance in a moment. I'm still speaking. -- Willard Romney to the President of the United States during last night's town-hall
Charles Pierce: "I thought that, given the roll he's been on, Romney would be able to keep both Snippy Willard and Dickhead Willard in check.... But not even I expected Romney to let his entitled, Lord-of-the-Manor freak flag fly as proudly as he did on Tuesday night. He got in the president's face. He got in Crowley's face."
Michael Grunwald of Time: "Finally, Obama makes his case for four more years."
Ed Kilgore of Washington Monthly: "Moderate Mitt took a beating last night, and that Obama did as much as he's ever going to do in laying out a second-term agenda."
Greg Sargent: "This race will still be the dead heat tomorrow that it was yesterday, but Obama made big strides towards turning things around tonight."
** "Binders Full of Women." David Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix: during the debate, Romney claimed, "I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women." Bernstein writes: "Not a true story. What actually happened was that in 2002 -- prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration -- a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government.... They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.... Romney's claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.... Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent.... None of the senior positions Romney cared about -- budget, business development, etc. -- went to women." ...
.. Via Amy Davidson of the New Yorker, who writes, "One got the sense of Mitt Romney coming from a place where women were generally in the other room, waiting to be invited in only when the moment -- or the visibility of the job -- called for it." CW: we will be hearing more about binders full of women. ...
... Beth Healy of the Boston Globe: "Romney, however, did not have a history of appointing women to high-level positions in the private sector. Romney did not have any women partners as CEO of Bain Capital during the 1980s and 1990s.... Today, 4 of out of 49 of the firm's managing directors in the buyout area are women."
... Ha! John Cassidy of the New Yorker: "By the end of the debate, there was already a Facebook page and a Tumblr with the name 'bindersfullofwomen.'" ...
... AND here's the Twitter account Romney's Binder. ReTweets include, "When Romney flies, he flies TransVaginal." ReTweets include other women's issues too: "Nothing should stand between a woman and her doctor except an HMO, picketers and the state legislature."
Zeke Miller & Ben Smith of BuzzFeed: "Barack Obama turned his administration's worst foreign policy disaster into a dramatic victory in Tuesday's debate when Mitt Romney sought to stretch the criticism of the Obama Administration's handling of the incident":
... Jonathan Bernstein says of this exchange: "This was the night in which the conservative closed information feedback loop and its close cousin, lazy mendacity, caught up with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney -- in a big way.... The closed information loop leaves conservatives vulnerable, and it makes it very difficult for them to govern effectively when they are in office." CW: I wouldn't call it lazy mendacity; I think it's more akin to audacious mendacity. Romney, Ryan, et al. may not always know when they're lying, but oftentimes they know, & they're proud of the stuff they make up. ...
... Everything Is the President's Fault. Marcy Wheeler on "The Libya Question." CW: looks like the Dick in John Dickerson (of Slate & CBS News & PBS & wherever) is well deserved. Or is it John Bickerson? Turns out it's President Obama's fault that reporters didn't more actively & prominently report his various remarks on the Benghazi attack. See, we don't have a better press corps because, um, the President failed to something, something. ...
... Paul Krugman calls the moment "Chicken Hawk Down."
Andy Borowitz: "Romney sets new personal best for faking empathy.... Tonight's display of bogus sensitivity made a big impression on a post-debate focus group, as a majority of participants agreed with the statement, 'Mitt Romney has the facial expressions of someone who cares about me.' ... 'It was an awesome display of stamina,' said ... Paul Ryan, who watched Mr. Romney pretending to be empathic from a shelter in Virginia, where Mr. Ryan was pretending to feed a homeless orphan."
Nate Silver: "Scientific polls conducted after Tuesday night’s presidential debate in New York give a modest edge to President Obama."
Scott Wilson of the Washington Post has a lengthy rundown of the debate. ...
... Here's the New York Times story by Jim Rutenberg & Jeff Zeleny. ...
... CNN has the full transcript.
Rachel Maddow called this evening President Obama's best debate ever. I think she's right. ...
... Maddow says the CNN insta-poll said President Obama won the debate 46-39 among debate watchers. ...
... Even this stuffed shirt agrees:
New York magazine puts together a video of "The Debate in Under Three Minutes":
Kevin Cirilli of Politico: "Police arrested Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, on Tuesday after a failed attempt at attending the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y."
The New York Times is liveblogging & fact-checking the debate. They have done quite good work in the two previous debates.
Greg Sargent: The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal "to overturn an appeals court decision to reinstate early voting [in Ohio] on the weekend and Monday before the election. This is a big, big victory for the Obama campaign, and it could arguably make a difference to the outcome in the critical state of Ohio."
Ann Romney, Low-Information Voter. Colby Itkowitz of the Allentown (Pennsylvania) Morning Call: "Ann Romney called it a 'myth' that her husband has veered to the right over the years, insisting there is little difference between the moderate figure who was governor of Massachusetts and the conservative who is running for president."
Ha Ha. Creepy Guy Caught with Pants Down. Joe Coscarelli of New York: "Dinesh D'Souza, the president of the Evangelical New York City school King's College and the right-wing author and director behind the fear-mongering 2016 Obama's America, has some explaining to do. The Christian magazine World reports today that D'Souza showed up for a speech at a Baptist church last month with someone who was not his wife of twenty years, but a much younger woman.... D'Souza reportedly introduced [her] as his fiancée, and although they shared a hotel room, he assured his conservative colleagues that 'nothing happened.'" D'Souza told a reporter he & his wife were divorced, but he didn't even file for divorce until the day the reporter contacted him. "After facing questions about the rushed arrangement, D'Souza told the magazine, 'I have decided to suspend the engagement.'"
Norimitsu Onishi of the New York Times: Four of the 11 California ballot propositions "are initiatives of single rich individuals, while others are being challenged by equally wealthy critics pouring in millions of dollars to defeat them -- a sign, in this era of 'super PACs' and Citizens United, of the increasingly sophisticated use of the populist tool by the wealthy to influence politics in the nation's most populous state."
Ian Lovett of the New York Times: "Los Angeles could soon become the largest city in the country to offer municipal identification cards to illegal immigrants, with the goal of allowing them to open bank accounts and gain access to other services. A City Council committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to solicit proposals from private companies to develop and operate a city ID card system. The plan will now go to the full Council for a vote."
Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald: "Libyan authorities have named Ahmed Abu Khattala, a leader of the Benghazi-based Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, as a commander in the attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens last month."
AP: "U.S. home construction is making a comeback that could invigorate the economy's still-weak recovery. Builders last month started construction on single-family houses and apartments at the fastest rate in more than four years.... And they laid plans to build homes at an even faster pace in coming months -- a signal of their confidence that the housing rebound will last. The pace of construction has grown steadily in the past year, and analysts expect it to keep rising. The increase has been fueled by record-low mortgage rates, more stable home prices and a shortage of previously occupied homes for sale."
AP: "The family of ex-U.S. Sen. George McGovern says the 90-year-old is 'no longer responsive' in hospice care. McGovern's family issued a statement Wednesday afternoon through Avera McKennan Hospital. His daughter, Ann McGovern, earlier told The Associated Press that her father is 'nearing the end' and appears restful and peaceful."
Washington Post: "Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan is facing questions about whether he gave misleading information to Congress about security risks posed by a prostitution scandal embroiling agents in Cartagena, Colombia, according to three government sources familiar with an internal investigation."
AP: "A former used-car salesman accused of conspiring with Iranians in an audacious murder-for-hire plot pleaded guilty Wednesday to helping plan the assassination of a Saudi diplomat at a posh Georgetown restaurant. Manssor Arbabsiar, 58, a Texan with dual Iranian and U.S. citizenship, entered the plea in a New York courtroom just over year after his arrest in a case that shocked the world and drove U.S.-Iranian relations to a new low."
New York Times: "Federal authorities on Wednesday charged a 21-year-old Bangladeshi man with conspiring to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan,after he tried to detonate a van filled with what he believed to be explosives. The entire plot was in fact an elaborate F.B.I. sting. The man, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, came to the United States in January...."
AP: "A judge set a tentative trial date next year for a neighborhood watch volunteer charged with fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. In her first hearing since taking over the case, Judge Debra S. Nelson said June 10 would be the start of George Zimmerman's trial, though the date could change as both sides get prepared for what is expected to be a three-week trial."
AP: "Prosecutors have won a key legal ruling in their case against a former CIA officer accused of leaking the names of covert operatives to journalists. Prosecutors will not have to prove that John Kiriakou actually intended to harm the United States by allegedly leaking the covert officers' identities. Instead, they will only have to show that Kiriakou had 'reason to believe' that the information could be used to injure the U.S."
New York Times: "A week after the United States Anti-Doping Agency made public its evidence in a doping case against Lance Armstrong..., Armstrong on Wednesday stepped down as chairman of Livestrong, his cancer foundation, the organization that inspired millions fighting the disease. The fallout from the antidoping agency's report also prompted Nike, the company that stood by Armstrong through more than a decade's worth of doping allegations, to terminate his contract on Wednesday."