Performance Boost:

If recent polls are an indication, debates matter … a lot. The latest round show a bounce for Mitt Romney after a stirring debate performance against President Obama last week. According to the latest Pew Research survey, Romney is up by 4 percentage points over Obama. And Gallup’s daily tracking poll shows the candidates are tied at 47 percent of the vote. Both are big turnarounds from previous surveys that showed Obama with a healthy lead. (Read more)

International Man of Mystery: Let’s face it: Foreign policy isn’t exactly Mitt Romney’s strong suit (remember his summer tour abroad?). It’s one area in which the GOP White House nominee would do well to bolster his credentials. That’s probably why, 29 days before the election, Romney delivered a speech on the subject Monday at the Virginia Military Institute. As expected, Romney had plenty of criticism for President Obama’s national security and foreign policies, particularly when it came to the Middle East. He even offered up some vague ideas on what we could expect in that regard from a President Romney. But what the speech notably lacked — and probably what most people were eager to hear — were policy specifics. (Read more)

Sloppy Joe? After President Obama’s debate dud in Denver, Vice President Joe Biden hopes to help the Democratic ticket rebound Thursday when he faces off against Paul Ryan in the VP debate. The big question is, will Biden — known for being somewhat gaffe-prone — be up to the challenge? In theory, writes The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, the answer is “yes.” (Read more)

Six More Years: Venezuela’s leftist president, Hugo Chavez, won his re-election bid Sunday, defeating challenger Henrique Capriles by a comfortable margin. After the victory, Chavez vowed to press ahead with the socialist revolution, telling a crowd of supporters, “Venezuela will continue along the path of democratic and Bolivarian socialism of the 21st century.” (Read more)

Write and Wrong: In case you missed it, a Republican state lawmaker in Arkansas is in hot water for making some pretty offensive, racist and just plain stupid remarks in a recently published book. In “Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative,” Jon Hubbard, a member of Arkansas’ House of Representatives, wrote: “The institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.” But wait, the racism and questionable statements don’t stop there. In the same book, Hubbard wrote: “Will it ever become possible for black people in the United States of America to firmly establish themselves as inclusive and contributing members of society within this country?” And here’s Hubbard’s offensive take on immigration: “The immigration issue, both legal and illegal … will lead to planned wars or extermination. Although now this seems to be barbaric and uncivilized, it will at some point become as necessary as eating and breathing.” This guy is running for office again, in case you were wondering. (Read more)

Video of the Day: One thing “Saturday Night Live” does well: presidential debates. Here is the show’s funny interpretation of last week’s matchup between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

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