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8:15 PM ET, October 4, 2012


 Top Items: 
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Obama Campaign Shifts Attack Strategy After Debate  —  They've been attacking “severely conservative” Mitt for months.  Now they're calling Romney a flip-flopper.  —  Image by Kevin Lamarque / Reuters  —  DENVER — President Barack Obama and his aides rapidly reversed …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Romney's Successful Debate Plan: Lying  —  Political reporters and pundits lean heavily on the horse race method of coverage, which has badly hurt Mitt Romney for most of the campaign.  Last night it helped him.  Romney was forceful and articulate and dodged his association with almost all the most unpopular aspects of his platform.
How Obama's debate strategy bombed  —  DENVER - A stunned Obama campaign acknowledged Thursday that President Barack Obama delivered a lackluster and even ineffectual performance in his leadoff debate against Mitt Romney, mistakenly opting for a cautious approach to handling his opponent …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
At Last Night's Debate: Romney Told 27 Myths In 38 Minutes  —  Pundits from both sides of the aisle have lauded Mitt Romney's strong debate performance, praising his preparedness and ability to challenge President Obama's policies and accomplishments.  But Romney only accomplished this goal by repeatedly misleading viewers.
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:
Top Romney Adviser: States Will Have To Cover People With Pre-Existing Conditions Under President Romney  —  After the first presidential debate at the University of Denver in Colorado on Wednesday night, one of Mitt Romney's top advisers acknowledged that, as a result Romney's plan to repeal Obamacare …
David Corn / Mother Jones:
Why Obama Didn't Mention the 47 Percent Video  —  After the first presidential debate in Denver—which an on-the-attack Mitt Romney seemed to exploit better than a noncombative President Barack Obama—at least one question loomed: Why had the president not once referred to the 47 percent video …
Rolling Stone:
The First Debate: Mitt Romney's Five Biggest Lies  —  The truth behind that $5 trillion tax cut, pre-existing conditions and more  —  Mitt Romney turned in a polished performance in last night's presidential debate - and revealed himself to be an accomplished and unapologetic liar.
Jackie Koszczuk /
Liberals Livid With Obama's Debate Performance
That was fast: Romney debate remarks in new Obama ad
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
How Much Would Mitt Romney's Tax Cuts Cost? (VIDEO)
Benjy Sarlin / Talking Points Memo:
Obama Camp's Post-Debate Plan: Expose ‘Serial Evader’ Romney
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Mstech / Priorities USA Action:
RESEARCH MEMO: Results Of Dial Group Session In Aurora, CO.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Polls Show a Strong Debate for Romney
Byron Tau / Politico:
Sununu calls Obama lazy, disengaged and incompetent  —  Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu lit into President Obama's Wednesday debate performance, calling him “lazy” and “disengaged.”  —  “What people saw last night, I think, was a president that revealed his incompetence …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Romney Campaign Chair On Obama: 'When You're Not That Bright You Can't Get Better Prepared'
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Romney surrogate Sununu calls Obama ‘lazy and detached’
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Ballot Box
PBS Statement Regarding October 3 Presidential Debate  —  We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night.  Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation.
The Fix:
Networks, AP cancel exit polls in 19 states  —  Breaking from two decades of tradition, this year's election exit poll is set to include surveys of voters in 31 states, not all 50 as it has for the past five presidential elections, according to multiple people involved in the planning.
Becky Bowers / PolitiFact:
Fact-checking the Denver presidential debate  —  President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney traded barbs Wednesday night on taxes, jobs, health care and the economy — and often stretched the facts.  —  “Mr. President,” Romney said, “you're entitled as the president …
Transcript of Wednesday's presidential debate
Marisa Guthrie / Hollywood Reporter:
Ann Romney to Fill in for Robin Roberts on ‘Good Morning America’ (Exclusive)  —  With the presidential election only weeks away, ABC News also is in discussions with first lady Michelle Obama about co-hosting “GMA.”  —  Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney …
Alex Weprin / TVNewser:
Debate Ratings: Fox News Tops Cable News For First Debate, As More People Tune In Than 2008  —  More than 58 million people watched the first Presidential debate last night between President Obama and Mitt Romney, up substantially from the first debate in the 2008 election cycle, which had 52.4 million viewers.
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Biden: ‘Yes, We Do’ Want to Raise Taxes By a Trillion Dollars  —  Vice President Joe Biden, speaking earlier today in Iowa said, “Yes, we do” want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars:  —  “On top of the trillions of dollars of spending that we have already cut, we're gonna ask - yes …
Jeff Davis /
AARP's Statement on the Denver Presidential Debate  —  Below is the statement AARP released on this evening's Presidential debate:  —  Denver, CO—Earlier this evening the Presidential candidates discussed AARP, Social Security and Medicare during the first Presidential debate of the 2012 general election.
California Gas Stations Shut as Oil Refiners Ration Supplies  —  Gasoline station owners in the Los Angeles area including Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) are beginning to shut pumps as the state's oil refiners started rationing supplies and spot prices surged to a record.
Discussion: GayPatriot and Say Anything
Peter Nicholas / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Sets Monthly Fundraising Record  —  WASHINGTON—The Obama campaign set a new monthly fundraising record for the 2012 election cycle, taking in more than $150 million in September as supporters rallied behind the president in the final phase of the election, according to people familiar with the totals.
Discussion: Politico and Election 2012
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
We're Trying To Figure This Out  —  Getting a massive amount of coverage this morning is the CNN snap poll of the debate, which showed Romney winning the exchanged overwhelmingly.  —  But the internals of the poll look really strange.  If you look at the breakdown of the sample …
Discussion: Mediaite and Mother Jones
Kevin Baker / Harper's:
The Man Who Would Be Ex-President  —  Maybe he really is a secret Muslim terrorist from Kenya.  —  I mean, think about it.  He runs for president as a populist, soaking up all the liberal energy for change in the country.  Once in power, he surrounds himself with failed conservative advisers, and squanders most of his mandate.
LeVar Burton OUTRAGED Over Mitt Romney's PBS Attack — He's Destroying Our Children  —  LEVAR BURTON OUTRAGED  —  Over Romney PBS Attack —  He's Destroying Our Kids!  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  Former “Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton is PISSED after Mitt Romney threatened to cut PBS funding last night …
David Taintor / Talking Points Memo:
Press Critics Pile On Jim Lehrer's Debate Performance  —  Jim Lehrer, the executive editor of PBS' “NewsHour,” moderated his 12th presidential debate on Wednesday, sitting on the sidelines as Mitt Romney and President Obama dominated the program and steamrolled the veteran newsman whenever he attempted to interject.
Charles M. Blow / Campaign Stops:
Cool Hand Barry  —  Well, that was odd.  —  President Obama's stylistic strategy during Wednesday night's debate seemed to be to try to stay right above the rancor, to appear dignified, presidential.  The problem with that approach is that the line between dignified and presidential and anodyne and weak is the width of a cat's hair.
Cindy Adams / New York Post:
NBC sued over Trayvon tape  —  Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman is suing NBC over the network's botched editing of his 911 tape, Page Six can exclusively reveal.  We hear Zimmerman's attorneys are about to file a complaint against NBC and its top executives, naming news president Steve Capus …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Would a Republican Candidate Lie About Taxes?  —  The United States faces a gigantic economic choice next year, and last night's debate centered largely around what Mitt Romney would do about it.  Romney's plan is to lock the Bush tax cuts into place, reduce the long-term deficit entirely …
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 More Items: 
Steve Friess / Politico:
Candidate slammed for World of Warcraft fandom
Discussion: Betabeat
Glenn Greenwald / Guardian:
The US presidential debates' illusion of political choice | Glenn Greenwald
Erika Johnsen / Hot Air:
Stewart: Er, the president isn't looking quite as brilliant as he used to
Michele McNeil / Politics K-12:
Romney: 'I'm Not Going to Cut Education Funding'
Jparkercbs / CBS San Francisco:
Californians Watch, Think Romney Won Clash With Obama In 1st Debate
Jake Harper / Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group:
FCC database misses huge chunk of ads
Discussion: Politico
Financial Times:
Argentine navy ship seized in asset fight
Discussion: FP Passport
 Earlier Items: 
Benjamin Netanyahu / CNN:
Empty Oval Office featured in anti-Obama ad
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Luke Baker / Reuters:
Romney's strong debate showing puts Europe on edge
Alex Alvarez / Mediaite:
Ann Coulter On Debate: Obama Looked Depressed, Could See ‘Michelle Wanted To Go Home With Mitt’
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
Romney Won by Being Himself (and Obama Lost for the Same Reason)