* Andrew Sullivan on why Obama is the true candidate of moderation and balance in the presidential race.
* Kevin Drum on the real Obama versus the fantasy Obama, and on the unwillingness of Obama’s critics to cop to basic political realities when assessing his first term.
* The Romney camp is pleading for context, but his suggestion that Israelis are doing better than Palestinians for cultural reasons may be the latest sign of his inability to navigate the subtleties of international politics.
* And Romney dramatically minimized the differences between them: “Israel’s GDP per capita is actually $31,282. The same figure for the Palestinian areas is around $1,600.”
* Israel’s defense minister says Obama has done more than past administrations have done to promote Israel’s security, which is vaguely relevant to the argument over Obama’s posture towards Israel’s security.
* Good work by NBC News:
The chief executives of America’s top corporations have thrown their financial support to Mitt Romney over President Obama by more than a 4-1 margin, according to a review of federal records conducted by NBC News.
Romney has vowed to repeal Wall Street reform, and won’t say what he’d replace it with, beyond “common sense regulations.”
* ABC News can’t get the Romney campaign to say whether he’s ever paid a lower tax rate than 2010’s 13.9 percent, despite his suggestion that he’d go back and check. Background here.
* As Steve Benen notes, it’s interesting to see the Obama campaign drawing a very aggressive contrast with Romney on women’s rights, and suggests the Obama camp thinks public opinion is on its side.
* Dan Froomkin to reporters: You know what the GOP war on “voter fraud” is really about, so it’s time to level with your readers about it.
* The Dem firm Democracy Corps on the hidden edge Obama and Dems hold in Campaign 2012, provided, of course, that the economy doesn’t contract further, which is a distinct possibility.
* The political pushback of the day comes courtesy of Scott Brown, who offered this in the way of a rebuttal to Elizabeth Warren: “Blah, blah, blah, blah."
* And a quick note to readers: You may have noticed a different byline — that of the excellent James Downie — on Morning Plum today. He’s going to be doing the morning post, off and on, mostly in collaboration with yours truly, for the next two weeks, while I’m traveling. But I’ll still be micromanaging the blog full time, and I’ll be back to Morning Plum before you know it.