As Richard Wolffe said on the show yesterday, "politics in the foreign policy realm is a bit more complicated." It's fair to say that may have been an understatement.
Following noon prayers across much of the Muslim world today, public demonstrations are expected in the fourth day of anti-American protests, and it's anybody's guess as to whether tensions overseas will grow or begin to subside. Despite criticism from his own party for his response to the crisis, Governor Romney has refused to back down from his belief that the Obama Administration's response to protests in Cairo invoked "sympathy," but he did tell ABC News that he was ready to move on.
If the Governor gets that chance, he could move on to another set of headaches. A new set of NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Polls of the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia paint a bleak picture for Governor Romney. In both Florida and Virginia, President Obama is ahead 5 points among likely voters, 49 to 44. And in Ohio, the gap is wider: the President leads 50 to 43.
With less than two months before the election, Team Romney has work to do in shoring up those numbers. The task is not "insurmountable," according to Marist pollster Lee Miringoff. But victory in Florida, Ohio, and Virginia is critical. According to NBC's electoral map, Governor Romney must win at least two of these three states to have a chance at winning the Presidency.
Clearly, it's a busy Friday. We'll cover it all today at noon ET on NOW.
Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown U./msnbc Political Analyst (@michaeledyson)
Nicholas Confessore, The New York Times (@nickconfessore)
Lizz Winstead, Co-Creator, “The Daily Show”/Author, “Lizz Free or Die” (@lizzwinstead)
Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief, BuzzFeed (@buzzfeedben)
Bill Burton, Priorities US Action (@billburton716)
David Wood, Sr. Military Correspondent, The Huffington Post