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Queen Elizabeth II, James Bond, David Beckham and Mr. Bean starred in the Olympic opening ceremony then stepped aside to let seven young athletes light the cauldron as London’s seven-year wait for the Games ended Friday in a blaze of fireworks.
After his ill-received comments on Britain’s preparedness for the Olympics, pressure builds on the candidate to find a better footing in Israel and Poland.
None of it matters, his advisors say. They are betting the election on it.

 Rachel Weiner:

“I don’t think that we’ll see a bump in the polls. I think we might even lose some points,” [Obama] told the Post at the time. But, he added, there could be a more subtle, long-term advantage: “It gives voters a sense that I can in fact — and do — operate effectively on the international stage.”

Romney could be similarly polishing his image as not just a businessman but a statesman. Instead, he’s raising questions about his readiness.

“I think it shows a certain inexperience in international affairs,” said Jessica Matthews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Certainly it makes him quite unpopular with the British and I think to no constructive end.”

Romney has attacked Obama as a bumbling leader who “has diminished American leadership” and let important relationships whither. Now, whenever he tries to raise that attack, Obama and his allies can respond: Remember London?

Timothy Noah:
But Romney is deeply invested in the idea that it takes superhuman skills to save an Olympic Games from the disaster and international humiliation to which it naturally inclines. The idea that it can be done reasonably well even by a past-its-prime power like Britain is too much for Romney to bear. And I'm afraid he let it show at a very inopportune moment.
Jewish Voters in U.S. Back Obama

While Republicans may look favorably on Romney's visit to Israel, another group with keen interest in U.S.-Israeli relations -- Jewish Americans -- solidly backs Obama in the election.

Gallup Daily tracking from June 1-July 26 finds Jewish registered voters favoring Obama over Romney by 68% to 25%. That is essentially the same as Gallup's prior update on Jewish voting preferences.

David Maraniss:
There are Obama doubters and haters out there who claim with righteous anger that they are “vetting” the president, something they say the mainstream media never did. Some of them have said that my new biography — unwittingly, they argue, for I am too dumb to understand what my research has unearthed — proves that Barack Obama’s defining memoir is phony and that his entire life is a fraud. My intent is not to defend Obama or his book; he can take care of himself, and I have my own questions about “Dreams From My Father,” which I make clear in my book. But when comparing the liberties Obama took with composite characters and compressed chronology — which he acknowledged in the introduction to his memoir — to the stretches his most virulent detractors have taken in building their various conspiracies, I believe that they are the frauds and fabricators.
Nate Silver:
The reason our economic index sees Mr. Obama as a very modest favorite for re-election is because it also considers inflation, which is assigned 15 percent of the weight. And inflation has been very low.

Imagine the counterfactual: that on top of all the other problems in the economy, we also had, say 6 percent inflation. Then gas might cost $4.75 a gallon, and you’d notice the change in prices pretty frequently when you went to the grocery store. Under those circumstances, our model would have Mr. Obama as an underdog.

Charles Blow:
Where’s the Outrage?

If the Democrats don’t pay more attention, Big Money and new state laws may just help the Republicans run away with the election.

Fred Kaplan:
Mitt’s insults, mistakes, and blunders abroad aren’t gaffes. They actually represent his true worldview.

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