Before last Wednesday's debate, one of the grand viziers of number-crunching said that no one who was in Romney's trailing position at that point had ever come back to win the White House. That looks like a laughable statement now. My own view was that it was way too early to count Romney out. I wrote and said that a guy who had made that many mistakes -- who had had so much dumped on his head, and who still remained within hailing distance of the president -- still had a chance. Less than a week later, things seemed to have turned utterly upside-down. The Denver debate has sent Romney rocketing into a lead, and tightened races in key swing states to the point than a Romney Electoral College victory now seems eminently possible -- rather than the ridiculous GOP wishful thinking it looked like only days ago.
Something is not quite right with President Barack Obama. That was clear long before his passive, distracted performance here Wednesday night against Mitt Romney. The president needs to get back some form of his old magic if he hopes to secure a victory that, until the Denver debate, seemed all but inevitable, even to many of his foes. The evidence of the president's distance and distaste for the campaign is everywhere. He is invisible around Washington, a place he clearly doesn't like and where he has made few new political friends. He mailed in his acceptance speech in Charlotte, N.C., looking at the end like a man who couldn't wait to get off the stage. He has dutifully hit the campaign trail, but not with the zest or the frenzied response of 2008. And he clearly didn't master his brief for the debate when he went to ground in Las Vegas, though he did take time for a day trip to Hoover Dam. What gives?