Obama's Big Idea: Save Big Bird?

10.08.12 2:00 PM ET

If the Obama comeback strategy really does depend upon the financing of Big Bird, American politics is in a worse way than even I thought.

On the conference call convened by aides in Denver and Chicago even as the candidates were still on stage, there was no debate in the Obama campaign about the debate. None of the advisers fooled themselves into thinking it was anything but a disaster. Instead, they scrambled for ways to recover. They resolved to go after Mr. Romney with a post-debate assault on his truthfulness. Ad makers were ordered to work all night to produce an attack ad. And they would seize on Mr. Romney’s vow to cut financing for Big Bird.