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Rivals' fake flattery ahead of prez debate

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a fundraiser

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a fundraiser event at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. (Sept. 28, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

It's the Weekend of Insincere Flattery.

Barack Obama is "a uniquely gifted speaker," gushed Mitt Romney adviser Beth Myers -- "one of the most talented political communicators in modern history."

But if Myers is giving any thought to a last-minute candidate swap, she'd better watch out for a head-on collision with Jim Messina. You heard how the Obama campaign manager was touting Romney in advance of Wednesday's big debate?

"He's quick, polished and ready with a punchy attack against the president."

No, they don't believe it.

Yes, they're playing the old raise-the-other-guy's-expectations game.

And yes, the practice probably ought to be extended just to show how ridiculous it is. I'll start.

"Thank you for all the fine work, you substitute NFL officials. You got to the games on time, and you sure looked snappy in your striped shirts."

See how dumb that sounds?


1. The polls might all be skewed.

2. The debates could change everything.

3. The election's not 'til November.

4. George W could be the GOP's October Surprise.

5. Todd Akin could still drop out.

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He could easily have spent the past quarter-century hanging at his home in Montauk and living off the fat of his song royalties. Instead, with pediatrician Irwin Redlener, Paul Simon co-founded the Children's Health Fund, making sure that 300,000 indigent and homeless children got much needed medical care via mobile-medical units. No, that's not the usual second act for music superstars. Simon deserves real credit for taking on such a challenging cause and sticking with it. Now he's gathered a few friends -- Sting and Trudie Tyler, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Tina Fey, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson -- for a 25th-anniversary benefit Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall, a concert and a mission definitely worthy of support. Tix at


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