Variety of reports both metrics and anecdotes pointing to Lord Momentum for the Romney-Ryan ticket. From Iowa, in addition to the handsome crop sign (above) of Romney to the rescue, there is anecdote that Romney is polling very well ahead in both the solid Republican CD of Steve King and in the contested CD divided between Republicans and Democrats. From Pennsylvania in the Collar Counties, anecdotes that there are lawn signs for Democratic candidates but not much (if at all) for OFA. The same is reported from the Pittsburgh region. Paul Ryan stopped in Pittsburgh for rallies last weekend but otherwise neither campaign is airing ads on Philadelphia or Pittsburgh TV. That there is even a question of OFA in PA is a sign of weakness. Also, the New Yorker editorial endorsing Obama for re-election proposes, "The reelection of Barack Obama is a matter of great urgency." A fair translation of this sentence finds the word "urgency" more a matter of assertion than assumption or presumption. In the ways of Manhattan, you only make the movies or books or TV shows you can't get out of. "Urgency" usually means you can get out of it.
The third debate turns on a conversation between the candidates in Florida on American foreign policy, and the expectation is that there will be attention to the Arab Spring (including Benghazi, Libya) and China and DoD budgets and to Latin America including Cuba and the dying Castro tyranny. Mention that the Iran peace deal that is denied by the White House and by the Foreign Ministry in Tehran is a subject that makes OFA skittish. Candidate Obama is wise to skirt the rumors and focus on the UN maneuvers with Iran. For those keeping score: there is a deal offered to the Supreme Leader. Tehran is waiting for the election results, because it believes Obama can lose, and therefore believes it can get a better deal from Obama after defeat than before. What sign is there that Tehran believes Obama can lose? It waited until the White House denied the report in the NYT, which the White House had planted into the NYT, then Tehran denied the deal. Follow?
Foreign policy geniuses are the same decade after decade. Reading the witty and breathless Evan Thomas book on Eisenhower's presidency and the atomic bomb, "Ike's Bluff," and it is a treat to see the same games played out with regard to the Soviets and Khrushchev that the Obama White House (NSA Donilon) play out with Tehran. Assert, deny, leak, equivocate, assert, negotiate, signal, bluster, speechify. There are always mistakes: see below of the world-scale threatening mistake of the Suez Crisis, when Ike was double-crossed by London and Paris after the US and Dulles stupidly tried to intimidate Nasser by cutting off cash enticements: don't unbuy what you bought unless you are sure it can't be bought by your competition, is the Cold War lesson In Ike's day, the players were Dulles, Radford, LeMay, Strauss, Nitze, RAND and Kahn himself, and the ever conscientious Mr. Nixon and Senator LBJ. In Obama's day, the players are Jarrett (speaking for FLOTUS), Rice, Clinton, Power, Donilon, Brennan. The game remains the same, do not overpromise (see above video for that mistake by Candiate Obama 2008), do not under-perform (see above video), do not unilaterally negotiate (see above), do not say in secret what you cannot do in public (see above). Last sign of the OFA slipping: the New Yorker editorial endorsement ends: "Obama's America -- one that progresses, however falteringly, toward social justice, tolerance, and equality -- represents the future that this country deserves." Old proverb: "You don't get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate."