Manchurian Mitt versus Bad News Barack

Contrary to what I suggested in my column about the Clintons, Team Obama is brimming and beaming with overconfidence right now. They believe they are winning this election big time, their attack strategy is working, and their media acolytes are circulating polls and writing pieces with talk of a landslide. The president is now Bad News Barack, convinced the news is so dark his only recourse is to tear down his opponent lower than him. His opponent, the new Manchurian candidate, whom I refer to here as Manchurian Mitt, is not programmed by an enemy, as the candidate in the film — he is programmed to pander to whomever is in front of him, all day, every day.

Regarding my suggestion that Obama run with Hillary, virtually every high-level Democrat and Republican, almost without exception, would privately agree with me, that a) Hilllary adds a huge power, money and vote for Obama and all Democrats, and b) Obama will never do it because he is constitutionally incapable of admitting he could use could help from anyone, let alone the Clintons. A) is definitely true and b) is almost definitely true.

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Right now, trust me, behind the scenes there is close to universal agreement that Obama will very likely win. There is self-confidence beyond description in Team Obama that their "attack Mitt" strategy is working, big time.

The latest Obama ad (did Mitt pay 10 percent, 5 percent, zero percent taxes?) should bring royalties to Harry Reid. Still, while Mitt Romney keeps his tax returns secret, Barack Obama keeps his plans for a second term secret. The strategy is why I refer to Obama today as Bad News Barack. He believes the bad news about the economy is so bad, he must offer even more bad news about Romney, so Romney's numbers stay lower than his. Hope and change has surrendered to dirt and mud.

Manchurian Mitt plays right into this. His gross negligence and incompetence during his London trip was a disaster. Mitt became confused about which audience to pander to, and pandering to them all at the same time made him look ridiculous on a national-security trip. His secret tax returns clearly hide embarrassing low payments, and allow Mitt to be slapped around beautifully by Harry Reid. Mitt's pandering to the right — he cannot even denounce a slander against Hillary's Clinton's wonderful aide — makes the Manchurian one look extreme, weak and greedy at the same time.

Don't believe anything from anyone who sells scenarios right now. Obama does not have this in the bag. Landslide talk without Hillary is delusional, a mistake Team Obama has made before. The overconfidence from Team Obama is the best chance for Mitt Romney. Conclusions as this week ends:

1. This is still a 50-50 campaign. Ignore the ups and downs of the polls, which have moved back and forth all year.

2. Note Mitt Romney is now using the Clintons in multiple ads. I would ask Team Obama this: What does this tell you, Sherlock? My hope for Hillary is a longer shot than a one-legged horse in the Kentucky Derby, but for Obama to give up everything she would bring would be an act of political malpractice.

3. If Obama loses, Team Obama will think they have it in the bag a week before the election; they will realize they don't when tracking polls come in two to three days before the election, but then it will be too late.

4. The Big Moment will be the debates. Remember where you heard this first:

The more Team Obama's attack tears Romney down, suggesting Romney is an effete upper-class tax-evading woman-killing weather-vaning radical extremist wimp before the debates …

… the easier it will be for Romney to win the debates, looking much better than the image of the Obama attacks, making Romney a credible "other,” in which case …

Romney wins by a hair.

I predict no winner today. Before planning their redecorated White House for the second term, Team Obama might consider the words of Al Pacino playing the devil in the film “The Devil's Advocate,” who said:

The greatest sin is vanity, because when the devil gets you on that sin, he gets you on all the others.