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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

State of the Race

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Rasmussen’s morning update has President Obama’s lead decline to 1% from 3%, and the GOP lead on the generic ballot up to 4%. But, but, but….the MSM told us that Obama had won this going away.

The WaPo’s Michael Gerson summarizes the news of past few days:

So: The second quarter’s growth rates were revised downward sharply, raising the prospect that President’s Obama’s fourth year in office may be economically weaker than his third. And the dismal unemployment figures would actually be much worse if it weren’t for discouraged Americans leaving the workforce entirely. And the Middle East and North Africa are on fire, resulting in the first U.S. ambassador killed in 30 years, along with three others. And security at the Benghazi consulate, it turns out, was lax. And administration officials dismissed the attack for days as “spontaneous” when some at the White House must have known that this was a falsehood. And al-Qaeda — from Libya to Somalia to Mali to Yemen to Nigeria — seems intent on proving it is not quite dead, with little public recognition or response from the administration. And Univision reports that more guns linked to the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious scandal went to drug cartels and hit men. And at a Univision forum, Obama tried to shift blame for the scandal with a claim that was immediately proved false.

But Gerson then concludes Mitt Romney is on the defensive, even as every major poll, stuffed with far more Democrats than they ought to be, nevertheless showed a tightening of the race to statistical ties. Even The Democratic firm of PPP has Ohio at O 4, and its tilt towards the president is everywhere and widely recognized. Dead heat in the Buckeye State as well, then, and at least as good news from the map where it counts.

Most pundits are indeed lagging indicators of news, esepcially those with deadlines that oblige them to file three days before a column appears. When Mark Halperin of all the lefties is acknowledging that the race is tightening and that Romney is on a min-winning streak, then you know the race has become exactly what it was predicted to be, a five-act play with four debates and a sprint towards the dominant mood of “fear of change” or “change because of fear.”

Walter Russell Mead has a fine reflection on the hollowed out MSM this morning, but the Manhhattan-Beltway media elite isn’t going anywhere, like the nasty dog on a chain that can’t really hurt you but is awfully annoying.

What matters is the two paths the electorate sees coming out of November. The president’s path dips immediately into another awful recession, and is full of scandals exploding, especially Fast & Furious, as well as disappointmments from an Obamacare that is so screwed up that it will have to be sliced up before the 2014 vote destroys everyone left who voted for this IPAB-led idiocy. Grinding unemployment and retreat from the world as massive defense cuts reduce our Navy to 40% of Reagan’s, and Israel is left to its own devices: That’s Obama’s path.

Romney’s is, hopefully, a return to ’80s growth and an end to the incessant “1%-99%” nonsense. The longest period of class warfare in the U.S. will abruptly end, and the country will rather quickly spring back into robust growth by lopping off the manacles of Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and the anti-energy policies of EPA and the Department of Interior. The Navy will go up by 5 ships a year for Romney’s first four years and five ships more a year in a second term if he wins one. The defense budget will stabilize and Israel will know, again, that the U.S. is 100% behind it. That’s Romney’s path.

All the tin horses and tin ears of the MSM chattering at each other and into cameras projecting onto screens that fewer and fewer people watch won’t matter much if at all to the making of this choice. The real news gets through the muffling curtain held up by what Halperin likes to call “the 500.” This designation, intended to convey the power of the MSM elite, is actually a self-destructive exercise in branding, an effective self-definition of an aging ladies book club still meeting among the chaos in the streets below. The 500 let the pollsters in to swell their declining ranks and get the dues up, but now the talking heads are caught hanging around with the numbers guys and gals who are not so pedigreed. Fingers are pointing. Look for a purge.

Today’s show will be a game to predict the MSM spin from after the debate. I have already put a Twitter bet down on the lefties branding Romney as “angry” and “desperate,” while the president will of course be portrayed as calm as he endured a wave of accuastions.

One of my smaller hopes is that somewhere along the way Mitt Romney mentions the Univision report that Fast & Furious weapons were used at the massacre of 16 teenagers attending a party in a residential area of Ciudad Juarez in January 2010, followed by a reminder that the president misled at the Univision forum when asked about F&F and that he is covering up for Eric Holder.

Perhaps Jim Lehrer will ask the question. The families of the 16 dead teens deserve at least a question, don’t they?

Hughniverse

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