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Romney is off to an excellent start!

Abp. Lori responded to a recent NCRegister interview question on "the status of the U.S. bishops campaign to overturn the federal contraception mandate". He replied, in part, "On the public-advocacy front: An effort has been made to see that a question about the HHS mandate is asked during the presidential debate." Watch to see if it may "cut through the public-relations fog created since the start of the year" which Lori has noticed. He didn't identify who has been creating the fog.

They are exactly the same height.

Anniversary advantage.

"Economic patriotism." Pretty good.

We'll help you with your home by building small businesses! Wait, what?

Romney's doing great, but the tax cut answer doesn't make sense, at least not yet.

In addition to lakes and trees, Mitt Romney likes coal.

Obama should look at Romney.

What about the cost to our environment if Romney's plan goes through?

Wow, Romney just compared Obama and Biden to his intransigent children?


Does Romney want to talk about what other people pay in taxes?

Romney the coal meister :(

Do you think the candidates practice the bully-the-moderator-into-letting-you-speak-out-of-turn gambit? I bet they do.

And countdown to the 10 to 1 spending cuts to revenue increases quote from the Republican primaries begins now...

Cutting Sesame Street! That's not a winning example.

Oh dear. It's always bad when they trot out the "I have a simple rule of thumb" plan. On the one hand, medical care, but on the other hand, China! I'd really rather government leaders stick to the more complicated decision-making process, thanks.

So, we know Mitt likes lakes, trees, coal, Big Bird, and Jim Lehrer.

And there we have it! Right on cue. "No" on 10 to 1 budget question.

Twitter feed blowing up with Obama supporters freaking out about his alleged lethargy. I think he looks steady, and Mitt looks overcaffeinated.

Not spinning here: Doesn't Romney seem much more confident in his presentation and demeanor than Obama does?

Obama's not having a good night. But Romney's got some unforced errors, for sure. He just talked about how much experience he has with shipping jobs overseas.

"I had a friend who said you don't just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers!" Oh, come now, have the courage to stand behind your own zinger, Governor.

"So, we know Mitt likes lakes, trees, coal, Big Bird, and Jim Lehrer"

Romney ... Medicaid: "your poor"He ignores, of course, elderly in nursing homes, disabled people, children. So much easier to just deem them all "the poor"Grrrr


"If you're 60 or older, you can stop listening." But then who will moderate?!

Classic sports game: Obama is ahead and trying to play it safe to protect a lead, Romney is behind and is taking risks. Advantage Mittens.

Romney sure seems to be assuming that senior citizens have money and wherewithal to shop for insurance plans. My grandparents would not have been good at that. Maybe some are.

Jim Lehrer is running a distant third in this debate.

Is Romney going to promote breaking up the big banks? That would certainly lead the news tomorrow.

Romney clearly bargaining that ignoring/talking over Lehrer is worth the risk of looking petulant/arrogant. Maybe he figures conservatives will cheer to see him refuse to respect the authority of a PBS personality?

"Cutting Sesame Street! Thats not a winning example."I'm a big fan of the show, but ... we're watching it on CNN, where they focus group insta-feedback running at the bottom of the screen, and when he said he'd make Big Bird go away, the graphs spiked off the charts.

Romney is hilarious now. He's just saying stuff. And hey, Obamacare is awful and Romneycare is the way to go! Huh? Meh, it'll play better than Professor Obama's lecture I imagine.

About that "small business survey" on the AffordableCareAct

Wow. Embracing Romneycare is kind of amazing. He's trying to make a contrast on the political gaming stuff -- which is odd in that the GOP was dead set against Obamacare but Dems supported Romney's plan. Main thing is he is embracing the mandate and taxpayer-funded abortion coverage, not to mention socialized medicine.

Romney stepped in it by referring to the "Republican plan." Obamacare is the Republican plan.

I'm totally confused by the all-of-a-sudden embrace of Romneycare. Did he decide that on the spot?

This is false. Preexisting conditions are not covered in Romney's alleged plan.

Romney seems like he's telling people what they want to hear now on health care, and not what he actually has proposed.

"So, we know Mitt likes lakes, trees, coal, Big Bird, and Jim Lehrer."But he's only going to pay for coal.

Here it is. Fear its length:

Also, I just don't get the patent contradiction -- the Massachusetts plan was great but we shouldn't have it because it's terrible. I don't get it. But Obama isn't stuffing these layups back in his face.

No, see, the MA plan was a state plan. And Obamacare is a federal plan. Totally different. See?

Give Jim Lehrer a voucher. Romney is guilty of elder abuse.

How do you broaden the base without an individual mandate.

"Make up a number?" for tax deduction limit? 25,000 or 50,000? Huge difference!

Obama trying to make the connection between individual freedom and the common good, but not his best performance here. Lots of great arguments that aren't being made tonight.

Gotta give it to Romney: he has stuck to his talking points very closely. In that answer about the federal government, he rehashed some of his opening remarks and statistics.