Not entirely delusional. Robert Gibbs: “Well, look, George, I think the president understood that he hadn’t performed up to his own expectations pretty quickly into — after he got off the stage that night.”

Not completely change the race. But close. Peggy Noonan: “I thought the president barely showed. I thought ‘The New Yorker’ cover — the now famous ‘New Yorker’ cover in which they had a candidate Romney at a podium looking at the empty chair where Mr. Obama would have been, captured it all.”

Not totally reset the race. Still: “Mitt Romney seizes momentum with 30 days left before election.”

Not wholly fabricated. But lots was. Jon Karl: “He said he had a $4 trillion plan to cut the deficit. He said health care premiums were rising at the slowest rate in 50 years. Neither of those was true.”

Not exclusively a Rust Belt issue, but it works especially well there and in other energy-producing regions. “Mitt Romney is stepping up a favorite Republican attack line in battleground states: President Barack Obama’s overzealous Environmental Protection Agency is killing jobs. The GOP presidential nominee is telling voters in Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia that Obama’s EPA is to blame for wiping out the coal industry. Romney and his surrogates are warning Iowans of EPA plans to regulate for farm dust and railing against the agency for flying airplanes over livestock operations to spy for dirty water.”

Not altogether a new Romney, but a more open one. “Fresh off a debate performance he spent highlighting American stories, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Friday peppered his campaign stump speech with those same kinds of personal anecdotes. During his speech, he pointed to a 14-year-old facing leukemia, a quadriplegic friend who spent his life working for spinal injury research and a woman, Jane Horton – whose husband Spec. Chris was a sniper in the Oklahoma National Guard and died last year – who now works to help other Gold Star families that have lost someone in battle.”

Not utterly realistic in its MSNBC depiction. Almost, however.