A slew of swing-state polling this morning, plus the latest national tracking results from Rasmussen Reports reinforces the hunch I had at the top of the week: President Obama is bloodied, but still standing. He enjoys roughly the same lead in Gallup’s poll of registered voters that he did before the debate. But among likely voters, this race is a toss-up.
I wish I could confidently say I know more. But I can’t. And neither can you.
So why not take a break from the horserace and savor a truly memorable moment in professional sports. In last night’s playoff matchup with the Baltimore Orioles, Raul Ibanez of the New York Yankees hit not one but two clutch home runs — one to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth inning and a second to win the game in extra innings. Ibanez had not started the game; the 40-year-old journeyman slugger came on in the ninth to pinch-hit for the ice-cold overpaid superstar Alex Rodriguez.
I don’t make it a habit of praising men in Yankees uniforms, but Ibanez spent three years in Philadelphia. For the first half of the 2009 season, he was a magical presence in the middle of a fearsome Phillies lineup. His production tailed off considerably after that — in part the result of abdominal injury — but he remains beloved in the City of Brotherly Love (which is decidedly not the case for ex-Phillies like Jayson Werth and Scott Rolen).
Ibanez now plays for the Death Star of baseball. But he’s one of the good guys. And last night, he was historically good.
Raul, “so cool,” indeed.