The Washington Post

A 100 percent chance the 47 percent will be part of tonight's debate

I hear the over/under at tonight's debate is 10 minutes before President Obama says "47 percent." And the odds are 3 to 5 that he mentions it in his opening statement. Let's face it — some of what will happen tonight in the second presidential debate is predictable. Some of what will happen after the debate is predictable, too.

A lot of Democrat pundits and Obama sympathizers in the media are poised to give the president a hand and make up for the harsh reaction they had after the president choked in Denver. The only question is, how easy will the president make it for his loyal following to pander and gush?

The Obama campaign has promised that Obama will be "feisty" in tonight's debate. Well, one Merriam-Webster definition of "feisty" is "exuberantly frisky."  I'm not sure that is what the president's team really means. Perhaps "belligerent" is a better word. Let's face it, there is a huge appetite on the left to exclaim, "The president is back! No harm done in that first debate; move along folks, nothing to see here. Let's get back to the real campaign: Romney is a lying murderer and a robber baron thief."

Obama probably has a three-week strategy of just surviving the debates, closing hard with personal attacks on Romney and counting on his ground game to win the close states. The first part of that plan starts tonight.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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