Behold -- Rachel Maddow, sans snark, smarm, irony or spin. Enjoy while this lasts, you might never see it again.
For fleeting moments on her MSNBC show last night, Maddow described the presidential race in a way that liberals and conservatives watching together might nod in agreement and refrain from sneering at one another. (video after page break)
After saying Mitt Romney prevailed in the first debate, Maddow told of the Obama campaign seizing on Romney's mention of Big Bird in his vow to end federal funding for PBS. This, Maddow claimed, was an example of President Obama winning "the post-debate," but then she said this --
Mitt Romney may have won the debate on Wednesday night, but President Obama won the post-debate. At least it seemed that way for these last few days. Then today, back down to earth for Democrats when we started getting in the first solid round of polling that reflected the results of the debate. And however well the Obama campaign did in managing the post-debate spin and the post-debate campaigning, the poll numbers clearly have now shifted in Mitt Romney's favor.
In the new national poll out today from the Pew Research Center, Gov. Romney is now tied with the president. Mr. Romney had trailed in this particular survey by nine points before the debate, so that is a big shift toward Mitt Romney and away from Barack Obama in that national poll.
Likewise in the new national Gallup poll, Mr. Romney pulled even with the president after the debate, erasing what had been a 5-point advantage for the president.
Maddow reeled off poll numbers showing Obama's pre-debate lead eroding in five swing states -- Wisconsin, Colorado, Virginia, Michigan and Florida -- with the shift toward Romney ranging from 9 points (Wisconsin) to 2 (Virginia) and Romney ahead in Florida and Colorado.
"So the bounce, the counter-bounce, the major fall, the minor lift," Maddow said, "however you rattle the numbers loose, this race now looks tighter than Dan Rather in that saying about a tick that nobody understands."
OK, so Dan Rather wouldn't be pleased, but still.
Who knows, If Maddow continues in this vein, we might eventually see her working at Fox News, where she reportedly sought employment in the past.