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Obama: Man with the plan?

“After being hit for weeks by Mitt Romney for lacking specificity on what his second term would look like, President Obama is touting his plans with a new glossy booklet titled ‘The New Economic Patriotism: A Plan for Jobs & Middle Class Security,’” USA Today writes. “Copies of the booklet were distributed to reporters before Obama's post-debate rally here. The booklet distills his plans to bolster the manufacturing sector, hire 100,000 math and science teachers and cut the deficit by $4 trillion.”

On the day Obama released the glossy, 20-page booklet which he says is his plan for a second term here’s Obama in Florida on Romney: “We had a severe outbreak last night. It was at least stage 3 Romnesia. And I just want to go over with you some of the symptoms, Delray, because I want to make sure no one in the surrounding area catches it. … “If you talk about how much you love teachers during a debate,” Obama added, “but said just a few weeks ago that we shouldn’t hire any more because they won’t grow the economy, what do you have?”

Reuters: “Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show. The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks. The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.”

President Obama made an off-the-record call to the Des Moines Register. The paper went public – not with the details of the call – but that it happened and urged the president and his campaign to give an on-the-record meeting or call ahead of its endorsement Saturday. Romney met with the paper’s editorial board Oct. 9. It wrote an email to the campaign that said: “What the President shared with us this morning — and the manner, depth and quality of his presentation – would have been well-received by not only his base, but also undecideds. From a voter standpoint, keeping it off-the-record was a disservice.” It added in the editorial today: “It’s important that I emphasize the White House’s decision won’t play a factor in our board’s final endorsement decision. That would be petty and ridiculous. We take far too seriously what’s at stake this election and what our endorsement should say.”

The paper, though, didn’t go public with the behind-the-scenes wooing in the run up to the Democratic and Republican primaries, including this from the New York Times Dec. 15, 2007: “The other day, as his sport utility vehicle idled outside, former President Bill Clinton held forth on a sofa in the publisher’s suite at The Des Moines Register, explaining why he believed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton should win the newspaper’s coveted endorsement. Only nine days earlier, the Clintons had played host to a few top editors for drinks and appetizers at one of Des Moines’s fashionable new restaurants. But on this visit, Mr. Clinton was the closer in the exhaustive campaign of persuasion. Even after an hour he had not made his full case to Laura Hollingsworth, the new publisher, so he called back later in the day.” Hollingsworth, however, is the one who played a tape recording of Bill Clinton calling to woo their endorsement for reporters.

“President Obama’s assertion during the final debate that additional defense spending cuts ‘will not happen’ prompted criticism and skepticism from Republicans who said on Tuesday that Obama’s confidence is not backed up by presidential leadership,” the Boston Globe writes. “ ‘If the sequester isn’t going to happen, as he says, will the president finally offer a plan to solve the problem?’ Kevin Smith, a spokesman for speaker of the House John A. Boehner, said in an interview with Reuters. ‘For the past year, the president has refused to show any leadership in resolving the sequester he proposed, so forgive us if we have doubts about his newfound desire to tackle the issue.’”

Obama advisers later walked back the definitiveness of Obama’s statement: David Plouffe in the spin room: “everyone in Washington agrees that sequester should not happen.”

He’ll be on MTV Friday at 5:00 pm ET. Young voters, 18-29, have lagged behind their 2008 enthusiasm levels and are far below the intensity of other age groups and demographics this election. Obama’s campaign is acutely aware that, if in a close election, if this key pillar to his electoral success doesn’t show up in big enough numbers, he could very well lose.