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Who made the better Peter Berg reference in final presidential debate?

Battleship

Peter Berg may be the big winner in tonight’s debate — as both President Obama and Governor Romney perhaps unwittingly made reference to the director’s work.

When President Obama attacked Romney for calling Russia the biggest geopolitical threat, Romney responded with part of his favorite campaign slogan, cribbed from Berg’s Friday Night LightsREAD FULL STORY

Moderator Bob Schieffer gets the call as the debate 'closer'

There was an episode in the recent first season of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom where Jeff Daniels’ contrarian “Republican” made a bid to moderate one of the Republican primary debates by pitching an aggressive, adversarial approach where he would basically cross-examine the candidates. Both Sorkin and Daniels’ Will McAvoy were being dead serious, but after two real presidential debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, that notion could not be more fantastical. First, PBS’s Jim Lehrer was figuratively stuffed into a locker by both candidates, and then CNN’s Candy Crowley was criticized by the Republicans for her real-time fact-checking.

In this tense, hyper-political atmosphere now steps CBS’s Bob Schieffer, a veteran of two previous presidential debates, in 2004 and 2008. His job will not be easy: Not only are the polls even, but the candidates have expressed a clear disdain for each other, resulting in frequent interruptions and sharp accusations of dishonesty. Schieffer is a revered Washington presence — he’s been with CBS since 1969 and hosted Face the Nation since 1991 — but he not only has to be aware of fairness tonight, he needs to keep the proceedings civil and focused. Speaking to the Palm Beach Post over the weekend, the 75-year old Schieffer said that he “won’t hesitate to say, ‘Can we get back on subject?’” if the candidates wander off course, but that generally, he expects more of the candidates than they’ve thus far displayed. “I think it would be great if I could pose a question and the two men could answer and the other guy says ‘That can’t be right,’ and they get into it,” he said. “They‘re free to ask each other questions [in those six 15 minute segments] and if they do it will be terrific.” READ FULL STORY

Michelle Obama talks guilty pleasures on 'Live! With Kelly and Michael'

Funnily enough, the First Lady’s appearance on Live! this morning wasn’t quite as serious as her husband’s appearance on The Daily Show last night. In the segment, which was taped Thursday, hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan questioned Obama about everything from what she carries in her purse to her husband’s underwear — when asked whether she prefers the president to wear boxers or briefs, Obama jokingly answered, “None of the above.”

There was some substance to the chat, though. Obama shared the anxiety she feels watching her husband participate in presidential debates — “I compared it to the Olympic parents watching their kids on that balance beam,” she said. Ripa asked whether Obama has ever tried to help the president with answers during debates; Obama responded, “They really caution you to be quiet and I try to follow the rules so I don’t get in trouble.”

But hey — back to the fun stuff!  READ FULL STORY

Clint, Bruce, Lindsay, Honey Boo Boo: Do any celebrity political endorsements have meaning?

When Bruce Springsteen recently announced that he’d be campaigning for President Obama in Ohio and Iowa this week, and when he officially endorsed the president yesterday with a letter posted on his website, no one was surprised. You would have to be dense not to pick up the progressive vibrations in nearly four decades of Springsteen’s music, and he’s actively promoted the Democratic nominee now in the last three elections.

It’s unclear if celebrities have any political influence on voters, but if they do, it seems to diminish exponentially with repeated exposure. Take George Clooney, for example. He’s the most famous celebrity political insider, but because he’s so involved, his actual endorsement means much less to average Americans — it’s simply taken for granted that he would support Obama again.

That’s why the Republicans thought they had an ace in the hole with Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention. Sure, Eastwood was a famous conservative, but he had rarely if ever been willing to lend his celebrity to a national candidate. When viewers saw him take the stage, it had the potential to make an impact that would dwarf the combined wattage of Clooney/Springsteen/Oprah. Alas, it didn’t exactly work out that way.

But what celebrity has that kind of clout these days? Who are the famous Americans that both political parties would welcome to their fold? The Sean Penns and Kid Rocks have already made their bets and spent their capital. Who might still be able to move the needle? You know, besides Lindsay Lohan and Honey Boo Boo. READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert react to debate's Benghazi blooper -- VIDEO

Due to their taping schedules, Comedy Central’s fake news programs couldn’t react to Tuesday’s debates until last night. But The Daily Show and The Colbert Report made up for being a day late with sharp segments that focused on the event’s major moments — binders or no binders.

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert took a few minutes to dissect the debate’s most controversial exchange, which came when the candidates were discussing September’s attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Governor Romney alleged that President Obama took two weeks to call the incident an “act of terror,” but Obama argued that he had used that phrase in a speech given the day after the attack. Moderator Candy Crowley backed the president when he asked her to look at the transcript of his remarks — though she also said Romney was correct to say that Obama’s administration took two weeks to confirm that the attack was not the result of a spontaneous riot.

Stewart said that Obama had ushered Romney into “some weird, nitpicky semantic trap” — though the president did mention “acts of terror” the day after the attack, the label was applied indirectly. He likened the president’s actions to the Road Runner urging Wile E. Coyote to run toward an apparent doorway that’s really just “paint on a rock.”  READ FULL STORY

Election MemeWatch: Romney's 'binders full of women' is the new Big Bird

Gentlemen — and ladies — start your parody Twitter accounts! A consensus has been reached regarding the most viral moment of last night’s second presidential debate. The question that inspired it: “In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?”

President Obama cited the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in his answer. Governor Romney responded by relaying an anecdote about searching for qualified female candidates for his Cabinet — specifically, he “went to a number of women’s groups, and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ And they brought us whole binders full of women.”

Why did this phrase hit a nerve? READ FULL STORY

EW's Morning Bite: And the best sound bite from last night is...

Submitted by Matt Rickman:

“You know, I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long.”

President Barack Obama, to Mitt Romney during the second presidential election debate

Check out the rest of your quote submissions from Tuesday, Oct. 16 and come back tonight to share your pick for best sound bite!

Read more:
Presidential debate review: Dancing with the political stars: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney do the policy paso doble
Presidential debate: Candy Crowley feels the heat
Presidential debate review: Romney dominated from early on, Obama embraced his inner ‘Obamacare’

Honey Boo Boo endorses Obama on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' -- VIDEO

President Barack Obama may have lost Lindsay Lohan’s vote, but he gained an endorsement from Honey Boo Boo just in time for tonight’s second presidential debate. Granted, the seven-year-old reality star can’t vote, but she probably wields just as much influence on the populace as Lohan.

America’s favorite mother-daughter duo, Mama and Honey Boo Boo — a.k.a. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo‘s June Shannon and Alana Thompson — dropped by Jimmy Kimmel Live last night and discussed politics. After some small talk about couponing and nicknames, a very restless Honey Boo Boo (she must have forgotten to drink her go-go juice) said she would vote for Obama over Mitt Romney after learning that Romney preferred Jersey Shore‘s Snooki over her. You’d better redneckognize, Romney.

Watch the videos below: READ FULL STORY

Presidential debate: Candy Crowley feels the heat

When CNN’s Candy Crowley was announced as the moderator of the second presidential debate back in August, she was lauded for being the first female to be selected for that honor since ABC’s Carole Simpson in 1992. That seemed to be enough of a historical footnote to recognize her role as referee — typically a thankless, forgettable role that is rightfully overshadowed by the rhetorical combatants. But after Jim Lehrer was roundly criticized for being a pushover in the first debate and Martha Raddatz seemed to respond to his passive performance by asserting herself more boldly in the vice-president’s debate, there’s suddenly a lot of pressure on Crowley to strike the right balance.

Her job won’t be easy. The format of tonight’s debate is town-hall style, meaning she’ll have to juggle questions from audience members as well as the more freewheeling back-and-forth between the candidates. Adding to her challenge are rival camps who have united in their insistence that she limit her input once the debate begins. Perhaps fearing a Raddatz-style grip, Democrats and Republicans have negotiated behind the scenes and attempted to dictate a hands-off policy to Crowley. READ FULL STORY

President Obama's opinion on Nicki Minaj vs. Mariah Carey is revealed at last

Stop pretending, America. You can pay lip service to topics like the economy, Iran, and Medicare ’til the cows come home — but we all know that what you really want is for both presidential candidates to weigh in on Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s feud.

The hard truth: Mitt Romney has been too busy rhapsodizing about Snooki to voice his opinion on this crucial question. Romney’s opponent, however, has tackled it head-on.

The president recently called into a local Miami radio show and spent nearly nine minutes gabbing with host Michael Yo about hard-hitting issues — how great Florida is, whether Joe Biden would ever shave his head, the usual. But the most important question came at the interview’s very beginning: “There’s an elephant in the room,” Yo said gravely. “A lot of people are upset, but: Can you repair the relationship with Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj on American Idol?”

Finally, some substance! Obama answered without even hesitating:  READ FULL STORY

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