OBAMA’S ROCKY MOUNTAIN HORROR SHOW
…Is the 44th president no more than a mediocre political talent who’s had one of the greatest runs of luck in history? And did that luck begin to run out in Denver last Wednesday during the homestretch of his final campaign? A week later, many Democrats fear that it did. … It is possible that the political class has overestimated Barack Obama’s talents for too long now. But I suspect Wednesday night’s outcome was more the result of an arrogant campaign underestimating a former Massachusetts governor. That proved to be a pretty dumb thing to do to a guy who breezed through Harvard, revolutionized Wall Street, saved a Winter Olympics, signed a landmark health care bill with Ted Kennedy by his side, raised five gifted boys, and retains the love and respect of a woman he first met in elementary school. Like every campaign that crossed swords with Ronald Reagan, Chicago’s arrogance blew up in their face. The question now is whether Barack Obama will suffer the same fate as Gov. Pat Brown and President Jimmy Carter. The answer to that question is anyone’s guess.
NEW YORK TIMES
…Obama knows that he alone is responsible for his unfathomable retreat into his own head while 70 million people watched. He hadn’t been nailing it in debate prep either, taking a break to visit the Hoover Dam, and worried aides knew his head wasn’t in it. When the president realized what a dud he was, he apologized to flummoxed and irritated advisers. … Even though Obama was urged not to show his pompous side, he arrived at the podium cloaked in layers of disdain; a disdain for debates, which he regards as shams, a venue, as the Carter White House adviser Gerry Rafshoon puts it, where “people prefer a good liar to a bad performer.” … It is that distaste for salesmanship that caused Obama not to sell or even explain health care and economic policies; and it is that distaste that caused him not to sell himself and his policies at the debate.
THE MUPPET IN THE ROOM
At the Denver debate, Romney said he would eliminate Obamacare (doing so would actually increase the budget deficit, because of related tax hikes) and the public-broadcasting subsidy, which is $445 million a year — or little more than one one-hundredth of 1 percent of federal spending. But Romney proposes to cut federal spending by trillions of dollars — more than $5 trillion over the next decade, assuming he follows the sort of blueprint laid out by his running mate, Paul Ryan. That threatens much more than Muppets and monsters. Human lives are at stake.
I WAS RIGHT ABOUT THAT STRANGE JOBS REPORT
WALL STREET JOURNAL
…The 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. … The possibility of subjectivity creeping into the process is so pervasive that the BLS’s own “Handbook of Methods” has a full page explaining the limitations of its data, including how non-sampling errors get made, from “misinterpretation of the questions” to “errors made in the estimations of missing data.”Bottom line: To suggest that the input to the BLS data-collection system is precise and bias-free is—well, let’s just say, overstated.