Opening Act: October Surprise

Alec MacGillis breaks news in Ohio.

Dana Milbank gets it right, here.

This insularity led directly to the Denver debacle: Obama was out of practice and unprepared to be challenged. The White House had supposed that Obama’s forays into social media — town hall meetings with YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and the like — would replace traditional presidential communication. By relying on such venues, Obama’s argument skills atrophied, and he was ill-equipped to engage in old-fashioned give and take.

For this reason, I’m girding for the inevitable “hey, Obama did pretty well” spin after the town hall debate. He’s always been better at that format than mano-a-mano debates, and he’s done more social media nonsense than pressers.

Dana Goldstein does some pesky reporting on Romney’s education answer.

If you read this rumor of the “breaking Obama scandal” to the end, it gets awfully huh-worthy.

According to the sources, a taxpayer watchdog group conducted a nine-month investigation into presidential and congressional fundraising and has uncovered thousands of cases of credit card solicitations and donations to Obama and Capitol Hill, allegedly from unsecure accounts, and many from overseas. That might be a violation of federal election laws.

At the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, the Obama-Biden effort was hit with a similar scandal.

You remember that scandal and how it upended the campaign, surely. What? You don’t? Refresh your memory: Almost exactly four years ago, Michael Isikoff reported on bogus names attached to five-figure Obama donations. The story had the appearance of perfidy, but it wasn’t really possible to follow up, and it burned out with no impact on the campaign. Will this time be different? I’m led to believe that this investigation is more thorough.