Stung by the defeat, Obama closets himself with his advisors, who coach him on debating techniques such as smiling, pretending to listen and forming complete sentences without a Teleprompter. Obama is much more aggressive in the next two debates, at one point pulling out his BlackBerry on camera and ordering a missile strike.
In the vice-presidential debate, Joe Biden gives Paul Ryan a noogie.
With polls showing a very tight race, the final weeks of the campaign are a textbook example of what this great experiment called “American democracy” is all about: two opposing political parties, each with valid positions, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on comically simplistic ads designed by consultants to terrify ill-informed halfwits.
But the month’s big story is “superstorm” Sandy, which devastates a large swath of the Northeast, despite the courageous efforts of hundreds of TV news reporters standing on the beaches telling people to stay off the beaches. New York City is hit hard, but Mayor Bloomberg responds swiftly, ordering police to arrest anybody suspected of consuming soft drinks from containers larger than 16 ounces.
Fidel Castro, for what is believed to be the 17th time in the past eight years, dies.
In the month’s most inspiring story, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner jumps from the Red Bull Stratos helium balloon 24 miles high and breaks the sound barrier in free fall, reaching a speed of 834 miles per hour and thrilling a worldwide broadcast audience before being shot down by a Predator drone sponsored by Monster.
In entertainment news, The Walt Disney Co. purchases Lucasfilm Ltd. and releases a trailer for the forthcoming “Star Wars Episode VII,” in which Darth Vader is a talking penguin.
Speaking of surprises, in …
November … after an election cycle in which an estimated $6 billion was spent on races for the presidency and Congress, the American voters — who desperately want change — vote to keep everything the same. President Obama wins all the key battleground states except Florida, where, after a week of ballot-counting delays caused by denture adhesive in the scanners, election officials finally announce that the state’s 29 electoral votes will be awarded to the Kansas City Chiefs.