#VPDebate PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Joe Biden & debate prep team pose for picture

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Hehehe ;)

Joe Biden's debate prep team?

Joe Biden’s debate prep team? via @sac148

As I said earlier this week, I am not making any predictions on winners or losers tonight, but you gotta admit it’s not outside the realm of possibility for him to have had Sesame Street characters for his debate team. Too bad Big Bird isn’t in the pic! ;)

Showtime between Biden and Paul Ryan is 9 Eastern Time. You can catch it on C-SPAN if you can’t get to a TV.  I’ll be live tweeting. :)

Romney wows 7,000+ strong Asheville crowd, gets the support of Rev. Billy Graham

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Just a little bit ago, I got done livetweeting the Romney / Ryan rally held earlier this evening in Asheville, NC (also known as Liberalville, NC to yours truly).  Media reports had indoors being over 7,000 and there was jumbotron outside for the overflow crowd (I don’t know the numbers but I did see pictures of people standing outside to watch it).

Romney hit on some good themes, hammered the administration’s response and blame game tactics on the Benghazi terrorist attack, promoted states rights and his economic plan, once again pledged to repeal ObamaCare and joked about how he enjoyed last week’s debate very much. :)

My only objection to the rally was when Speaker Boehner spoke and announced he was wearing “Carolina blue” for the Tarheel state. Grrr. ;)

Not only was the rally a success, if the attendance numbers and crowd reaction were any indication, but Romney got a big boost today from visiting the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Rev. Franklin Graham at the elder Graham’s home in nearby Montreat:

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Mitt Romney asked the Rev. Billy Graham for his prayers Thursday and the ailing evangelist came through by praying with the Republican presidential candidate and offering his support.

The 30-minute meeting between the world-renowned Christian leader and Romney could provide the former governor with a major boost among evangelical Christians skeptical of supporting the first Mormon nominated for president.

Graham, 93, and Romney prayed at the end of their previously unannounced meeting held at Graham’s estate in Montreat, which is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains 18 miles east of Asheville. Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, joined the meeting. It was the first time that Romney had met the elder Graham, but he first met Franklin Graham in 2006.

[…]

During Thursday’s meeting, campaign aides said that Graham told Romney that he considered his father, George Romney, a friend. He also recalled that he held his first crusade in Grand Rapids Michigan in 1947 — the same year that the former governor was born.

The meeting was closed to reporters, but photographers and television producers were permitted to record its final moments. As they entered, Romney appeared to be discussing the death of his father, George Romney.

[…]

Graham then asked Romney what he could do to help.

“Prayer is the most helpful thing you can do for me,” Romney said. “And what you’re planning, what your son has shown me is going to be very very helpful. And I appreciate that. Its going to be terrific.”

Graham, Franklin Graham and Romney then prayed and as the meeting ended, campaign aides said that Graham told Romney: “I’ll do all I can to help you. And you can quote me on that.”

Amen to that, Rev. Graham!  A photo from their meeting:

Romney and the Grahams

Mitt Romney meets with the Rev. Billy Graham and son Franklin Graham at the Graham home in Montreat, N.C. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

I’m starting to get a good feeling about Romney and NC – not making any predictions, but I feel the tide is turning …

As always, stay tuned!

OfA shocked -SHOCKED!!- to find vote fraud going on in its offices

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**Posted by Phineas

Following up on this story, I guess O’Keefe’s videos exposing corrupt behavior in ACORN and Planned Parenthood offices have made the DNC/Obama campaign (1) a little… sensitive to pain:

The Democratic National Committee has terminated the employment of Houston, Texas, Organizing For America Regional Field Director Stephanie Caballero after she was caught on camera calling voter fraud “cool” and “so funny” while advising a presumably-liberal voter how to vote twice.

In a comment to the liberal Talking Points Memo, DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell accused James O’Keefe and Project Veritas of selectively editing their videos – but admitted that what Caballero did on his tape was wrong and she’s now been fired.

They obviously haven’t learned the whole lesson, though. You never, ever accuse O’Keefe and Project Veritas of selective editing, because then they release the whole video and, well, the pain gets worse.

Not that I have much sympathy for them. None at all, in fact.

Via Moe Lane, who notes that this is apparently the first in a series of videos.

Footnote:
(1) But I repeat myself.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Romney gains on Obama… in California??

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**Posted by Phineas

Closing the gap eight points, post-debate. That sound you hear is panic buttons being hit in Chicago and the White House:

The effects of President Barack Obama’s falter in the first debate with Mitt Romney are not just being felt in battleground states, according to KPIX-TV CBS 5?s latest tracking poll of California which shows Romney slicing eight points off Obama’s lead.

Obama had led by 22 points in the CBS 5 tracking poll released four weeks ago. Obama now leads by only 14 points, an 8-point improvement for Romney. At the same time, the poll found U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s support for her re-election bid remained largely unchanged, month-on-month, suggesting that the erosion in Democratic support is not across-the-board, but contained to Obama. Unclear is whether the Obama erosion is fleeting or long-lasting.

The poll data released Wednesday showed Obama 53%, Romney 39%, in California. Obama carried the Golden State by 24 points in 2008, so the poll found Obama is now running 10 points weaker than he ran 4 years ago. Among Independents, Obama led by 14 in September, but now trails by 9 in October, a 23-point right turn among the most coveted voters. One explanation, based on the poll data: The number of Romney supporters who said they were voting “for Mitt Romney” as opposed to “against Barack Obama” is way up, month over month.

In other words, there’s almost no way Romney wins California –this state will be one of the last pockets of resistance when all else fails for the Democrats– but the trend is most definitely not Obama’s friend. If Romney is showing traction in here in La-La Land, then Team Hopenchange have to be wondering what’s happening in genuine battleground states in the West, such as Nevada or Colorado. And if Romney surge lasts or, especially, accelerates after the next debates, Obama might find himself having to defend his grip on the Golden State, diverting money and time needed elsewhere.

Good Lord. We might actually be treated as something other than an ATM. I think I need smelling salts…

I’ll note that Survey USA doesn’t provide partisan breakdowns, but anything other than a large D and I factions with a small R component wouldn’t make much sense, which means the swing in the Independent vote explains his gains. What I’d really like to see is The One’s numbers among Democrats: while the core liberal elites and the “47 percenters” in the Bay Area and Los Angeles won’t go Republican, with the state’s miserable unemployment numbers and lousy business environment, there may be a fair number of working-class and small entrepreneur Democrats willing to jump ship for a candidate who knows how jobs are created. Without seeing the breakdowns, however, that’s just a guess.

Other items to note: Sadly, Diane Feinstein’s “Opponent? What opponent?” strategy appears to be working, as Elizabeth Emken is getting almost no traction beyond the Republican base. This is a very expensive state for advertising and, without the free media time a debate would provide Emken, Feinstein can afford to ignore her. In fact, she’s smart to. Why give the opponent any opening? Still, it’s a shame. Feinstein is an aging mediocrity who in no way deserves reelection, while Emken has solid policy ideas.

Regarding California’s ballot propositions, it looks like Prop 34, to eliminate the death penalty, is going down to defeat. Once again, the public is showing it wants the law enforced and for the worst criminals to get what they deserve, but the left-wing elites do all they can to block executions, hoping to hold out until we eventually give in.

Fat chance.

And it looks like momentum is shifting against Prop 37, a loopy, anti-scientific measure to require labeling on some genetically modified foods but not all. Like measures meant to “fight global warming,” this looks like a response to a problem that doesn’t exist; I’ve yet to see any solid evidence that genetically modified foods are harmful. What it will do, though, is increase sales costs, which will of course be passed on to the consumer, as well new income opportunities for trial lawyers.

Ever notice it’s the little guy who gets hit hardest by liberal measures we’re told are meant to help us? Hmmm…

PS: Hey, California! Romney-Ryan 2012.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)