Democratic Panic Watch: D.C.

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 4 2012 1:41 PM

Democratic Panic Watch: D.C.

It's nice to get e-mail alerts from groups that don't have to vet statements with top campaign staff. Today, it's a missive from DC for Obama, asking for volunteers to campaign in Virginia.

If you watched last night's debate, you probably came away thinking at least two things; 1) Mitt Romney is really good at lying about his positions and his policies 2) We have a lot of work to do to win this election in November.
We can't count on the debates to reveal the real Mitt Romney. We need to go down to Virginia to talk with voters one-on-one about what's at stake in this election. We are the messengers. So please commit today to canvassing as much as you can between now and election day.
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No spin there. The trick for Democrats, who are not used to explaining away a blown debate performance, is keeping their base as active as the newly re-energized Republicans. In 2004, when George W. Bush lost debates to John Kerry, the campaign was quick to try and get media focused on Kerry's "gaffes," like saying American military action should be subjected to a "global test" of acquiring allies, or pointing out that Dick Cheney's daughter Mary was gay. Obama didn't really put a foot wrong last night. But that was because he never quite found the stage.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.