Every presidential campaign I've ever covered since my first national campaign in 1972 when I was one of the boys on the bus with George McGovern has had some sort of unexpected turn, some surprise. I think what we saw this week was one of those - it was something that no one expected. Going into it everyone was saying the pressure is really on Mitt Romney, and the fact is he came to play. On the other hand, President Barack Obama seemed to disappoint some of his supporters.
Then last night, Mitt Romney said his 47 percent comments were "just completely wrong," on FOX News. I think that's very interesting, and I was a bit surprised when I saw that. I suppose that's what he would have said on Wednesday had the president brought it up, and that certainly would have made all the headlines if he had. I wonder, if he'd said that during the debate, how that would have changed the storyline Thursday morning.
I don't think there's any question that we have a very different race today than we did on Monday of this week. How many minds were changed? I'm not sure. But I think the general consensus among experts is that we've seen a reset. Will that result in votes for Mitt Romney? Time will tell. But at least I think you can say people will be taking a second look, and there's no question that this debate really energized people in the Republican party.
On Sunday we're going to talk about this with David Axelrod, Obama's senior campaign adviser. What's their plan going forward? Does he see his debate performance as a major stumbling block? I'm sure he'll have a lot to say about these new jobs numbers out today that show unemployment below eight percent, a 44-month low. One of Romney's lines on the stump for months it seems has been, "We've had 43 straight months with unemployment above eight percent." How does 7 .8 percent unemployment change the game?
Speaking of games, as much as I love politics, I am really excited to talk about a different game on Sunday, too: Baseball. We've got a special treat for viewers this week in Page Two - we're going to have a baseball roundtable now that we're heading into the play-offs. Tony LaRussa, the manager of the current reigning world champions, the Cardinals, will join us, as well as Tommy Lasorda, the legendary Dodgers manager. Jane Leavy, who's written one of my favorite baseball books, The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood.
And my politics panel is an all-star line-up, too. The Washington Post's MIichael Gerson, The American Spectator's John Fund, and our own CBS News' Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson join me to break down the week that was on the trail.
I hope you'll join us - check your local listings so you don't miss a minute.