Get ready for the “Comeback Kid” stories after tomorrow’s debate. The National Journal sets up the narrative.
In little over a week, Barack Obama has gone from being a likely two-term president (according to the polls) to an imperiled incumbent who faces a must-win situation in Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday when he confronts Mitt Romney at Hofstra University in their second debate. The president apparently understands this, telling a radio talk show this week that he was “too polite” to Romney last time and that there will be “more activity” in Hempstead. White House press secretary Jay Carney, asked about the challenge, said that Obama realizes “the stakes are tremendously high” and that he must present “a very clear contrast.”
Obama’s biggest problem, however, may not be Romney but the debate’s format, which couldn’t be more difficult for an incumbent mounting a comeback. The second debate will be town-hall-style, where a selected audience of undecided voters asks the questions, many of which will likely focus on the president’s tenure.
Who are they kidding? The CNN host gets to select the questions herself. Does anyone really believe she’s going to allow Obama anything but softballs? Please. This is the same person who called the Romney-Ryan ticket a death wish for the GOP.
You can pretty much guarantee Obama will get a question along the lines of “How have you been able to survive with such a hostile Tea Party Congress?” while Romney will be deluged with contrived “War on Women” questions trying to trip him up. And it’s a near certainty some of the “undecided” people asking questions will easily be revealed as Democrat plants. If CNN wants to maintain any credibility they better make sure those allowed to ask questions have been properly vetted because it’ll be pretty easy finding out who they are and their past political history.