Rich Galen

The problem for the Obamas is that we are down to 18 days to go and the tide is running strongly in Romney's favor.

Will it turn before November 6? Don't know. But I do know that any candidate would rather be running with the tide than swimming against it, no matter where you are in the campaign cycle.

As we have been saying for 18 months, the Obama campaign simply cannot survive this election if it is a referendum on the last four years.

The Obama campaign has to make this a comparison between the individuals - Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - and it has spent somewhere near a half BILLION dollars demonizing Romney.

That first debate changed the course of the campaign because some 68 million viewers got to see for themselves what the two men looked like side-by-side.

The 65 million who saw the second debate watched a Barack Obama being the Barack Obama they had expected to see two weeks earlier. He met their expectations.

When you are trying to be rehired for a job that affects the lives of every person on the planet Earth, "Met Expectations" may simply not be a good enough grade.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at