* Mark Landler on why Obama advisers are now cautiously confident, after last night’s debate, that they can eke out a tight victory. This tracks with the private case I’ve heard.
* I very much agree with Steve Benen, who gives us the rundown of all the good economic news we’re seeing, and urges the Obama team not to shy away from highlighting it as much as possible. And here’s why:
the Romney/Ryan argument that the economy’s getting worse is now literally unbelievable. All of those folks who were eager recently to delve into the “are we better off than we were four years ago” question might want to take another look at where the economy currently stands.
* Joe Weisenthal has it all in chart form: “The full on comeback in everything related to consumers and households.”
* What if the conservative media set Romney up to botch the Libya question by falsely reporting for weeks that Obama never called the killings an act of terror? Don’t miss Eric Wemple making that case.
* Adam Serwer, who rightly notes there are serious questions about the attacks, marvels at reporters getting spun by the ludicrous right wing line that it didn’t count when Obama did call the killings an act of terror.
* Candy Crowley sets the record straight: No, she did not backtrack from pointing out that Romney got it wrong on Libya. And another righty talking point crashes and burns...
* Paul Krugman catches something interesting:,A look at the debate transcript clearly shows that Obama knew Romney was in the process of rhetorically hanging himself: “Please proceed, Governor.”
* Scott Shane has a rundown of the basic facts of the Libya affair, including the real deal on the administration’s shifting public statements and on the veracity of GOP claims about them.
* The Romney campaign is out with a new ad attempting to soften his stance on abortion, yet another sign of how hard Romney’s trying to close the gender gap.
Yet the ad does this by pointing out only that Romney favors it in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life.
* So it’s worth noting that Gallup finds that the top concern for women in the dozen swing states is ... abortion.
* It also may not help that top Romney adviser Kerry Healey described contraception as a “peripheral” issue.
Also: Good that Andrea Mitchell grilled Healey on access to contraception as a pocketbook issue, given that the Romney camp keeps saying these social issues are distractions from the economy.
* Still more: A top Romney adviser seems to confirm Romney would not have signed Lily Ledbetter, before rapidly walking it back. What does it say that the campaign doesn’t know its own position on this?
* Great lines from E.J. Dionne on last night’s debate:
The most instructive contrast between Debate I and Debate II was the extent to which Romney’s ideas crumbled at the slightest contact with challenge. Romney and Paul Ryan are erecting a Potemkin village designed to survive only until the polls close on Nov. 6.
* And in that context, behold the total number who watched last night’s debate: 65.6 million. The polls should get interesting in the days ahead.