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Sunday Talk: John McCain, Rob Portman, Andrew Sullivan, and More

McCain says Obama isn’t qualified to be president, Sullivan calls Romney ‘an alien,’ and more.

Sullivan: Romney ‘An Alien That Ripped Off His Mask’

Our very own Andrew Sullivan might win the “simile of the campaign” award for this gem (or ridiculous analogy, depending on your political persuasion), dropped at This Week’s Sunday roundtable. “The Mitt Romney that showed up on October 3rd [to the first debate] was like an alien that ripped off his mask and said, ‘I’m brand new now,’” Sullivan said. “He has evolutionary ideology,” he continued, lambasting Romney’s ever-changing policy positions.

Portman: Ohio Is a ‘Dead Heat’

Republican Ohio senator and Romney ally Rob Portman said on Fox News Sunday that a new poll, conducted by Ohio newspapers, shows President Obama in “a dead heat” with his GOP rival. If he was referring to this poll, the final Ohio Newspaper Organization survey, he was right: released Sunday, the poll has Obama and Romney tied at 49 percent. The only issue? The poll was conducted between October 18 and 23, before most of the other recently released polls, and may not account for the impact of the final debate.

Axelrod: Frankenstorm Impact a ‘Source of Concern’

Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod was well prepared for Candy Crowley’s question about the politics of the Frankenstorm on State of the Union Sunday, saying, “The first thing I think we should say is we’re most concerned about people.” Good job, Ax. But then tipped his hand a bit, letting slip that the storm’s potential negative effect on voter turnout is “a source of concern.”

McCain: Obama Not Qualified to Be President

In a preview of what would be a hilarious and erudite local news show, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer tossed to Senator John McCain Sunday by introducing him as “our go-to guy in Arizona for news, weather, and sports.” Conversation quickly turned to Libya, however, during which McCain called last month’s attack on the American consulate a “tragedy turned into a debacle,” and “the worst cover-up or incompetence that I have ever observed in my life.” Either way, McCain argued: the manner in which the administration has dealt with the crisis “does not qualify the president as commander in chief.”

Shrum: For Elderly, ‘It’s a Hobby to Go Vote’

On Face the Nation, Robert Shrum dismissed the notion that the Frankenstorm might prevent elderly people from voting, arguing that voting is more than just civic duty for this group. “It’s almost their avocation,” Shrum said. “It's a hobby to go vote.” Well, maybe if their grandkids took them out more, they wouldn’t be so eager to run out into a hurricane. Selfish grandkids.

Maddow: Romney’s ‘Truthfulness Problem’

“As the race gets narrower and narrower,” Rachel Maddow said on Meet the Press, the candidates are going after smaller and smaller portions of the electorate. And Romney, she said, has a “truthfulness problem” when it comes to winning over some of these key groups. In Defiance, Ohio, Romney “told a group of 11,000 people: ‘Jeep is about to move all of its production overseas!’” she continued, arguing that this is “not at all true.” Then again, he did say it in a town called “Defiance.”

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Journalists as Bottom Feeders?

On Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz wondered why Big Bird and “binders full of women”, or “clowns” like Donald Trump and Ann Coulter, have dominated the media’s recent coverage of the campaign. Michael Shear, chief writer for The New York Times’s Caucus blog, disagreed with Kurtz’s premise, saying “these things are having less impact today than they had six months ago or a year [ago].” Still, he said, the reason these topics are getting any play at all is because journalists are “bottom feeding.” Ouch.