Sesame Street to Obama: pull the Big Bird ad. Critics question Chaffetz's Libya probe. 27 days until Election Day.
Happy Wednesday. Tomorrow, Vice President Joe Biden and VP-hopeful Paul Ryan will face off in a one-time debate. In a Reuters poll of likely voters, 39 percent said Biden was more qualified to be president, while 33 percent felt it was the other way around. [Reuters]
-> Revisit six of the most memorable vice presidential debate moments, including Sarah Palin's 2008 "Can I call you Joe?" [WaPost]
Topping the news: State Sen. Margaret Dayton is sponsoring a bill that would prohibit abortions by mothers upset by the gender of her unborn baby. [ABC4]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz's Libya investigation yielded harsh criticism from Jim Dabakis, chairman of the Utah Democratic Party, who said the "big stunt" was "pathetic." [Trib]
-> The makers of the politically-neutral Sesame Street ask the Obama campaign to pull its new Big Bird-themed attack ad. [SesameWorkshop] [Politico] [DailyBeast] [CBSNews] Ironically, the woman behind the original creation of Big Bird donated over $200,000 to the president's campaign in the past two years. [BuzzFeed]
Tweet of the day: From @daveweigel: "I'm more than ready for a 'time to swap places on the ticket?' news cycle if Biden wins this debate."
Happy birthday: To former HHS chief of staff and top Mike Leavitt aide, Rich McKeown.
In other news: Surprise, surprise: Josh Romney endorses Republican Salt Lake County mayoral candidate Mark Crockett. [Trib]
-> Mia Love, Utah's Republican District 4 candidate, spent the weekend campaigning for Romney in Ohio, arguably one of the most critical battleground states. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly discusses the relationship between LDS President Thomas Monson and the late Jack Gallivan, Jim Matheson's appearance at a Mia Love fundraiser and propaganda at a St. George fundraiser. [Trib]
-> Former Utah Gov. Olene Walker said the political climate has turned increasingly negative since her time in office, specifically citing the Matheson-Love race. [DNews]
2012 watch: Among likely voters, Gallup credits Romney with a 49-47 lead. Among registered voters, they say Obama leads 49-46. [Gallup]
-> The tightened presidential race is getting intense. [Reuters]
-> Romney touched base with rural American at the James Koch farm in Iowa yesterday. [Politico] While there, he emotionally recanted how he first met one of the Americans who died in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. [ChiTrib] [Yahoo]
-> An interactive map of this election cycle's swing states shows Obama leading Romney with 57 to 53 electoral votes. [Politico]
-> A Brookings Institute economist says Romney's tax plan doesn't add up, just like you can't drive across the country in 15 hours without speeding. [Brookings]
-> An Obama campaign spokesperson said that recent Romney-favoring polls haven't changed their plan of attack: "We've always run this race like we're 5 points down." [Politico]
-> For the first time in recent years, the Democratic National Committee had more debt than cash on hand in the final two months of the election. [WaPost]
Where are they?