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Stool duel — how Romney got a leg up during debate

HEMPSTEAD NY - OCTOBER 16:  Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sits during town hall style debate HofstrUniversity October 16

HEMPSTEAD, NY - OCTOBER 16: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sits during a town hall style debate at Hofstra University October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York. During the second of three presidential debates, the candidates fielded questions from audience members on a wide variety of issues. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Updated: November 19, 2012 3:33PM



The leg peg: GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney had a leg up during the presidential debate rematch at Hofstra University on Tuesday night.

◆ Translation: The way Romney positioned himself on the bar stool, hooking one shoe heel on a rung, during the tense encounter with President Barack Obama summoned the picture of a man accustomed to a little barroom banter.

Not so?

Bash ’em

Romney, a teetotaling Mormon, had to practice sitting normally on a bar stool because he never really had any experience, according to CNN’s Dana Bash.

“That’s certainly ridiculous,” said a national Romney source.

Whaddya think.

Oops!

That was first lady Michelle Obama — caught on camera — breaking the debate rules by clapping for her husband.

Think pink . . .

Yipes! No Nancy Reagan red! The fact both first lady Michelle Obama and Ann Romney sported hot-pink outfits at the second presidential debate not only promoted National Breast Cancer Awareness month — but showed how closely the campaigns are scripted.

Kid bid . . .

A job or a lob?

Looks like Jeremy Epstein, the 20-year-old “undecided” college student who was first up to ask a question during Tuesday night’s debate, may pull the lever for Obama.

Please follow.

◆ The job shot: Shortly after the debate, Epstein told the press he talked to both candidates — and asked Romney if he was really going to get him the job the candidate promised if he became president.

◆ Epstein claims Romney’s response was “maybe.”

◆ The hoop shot: Epstein then claims he talked about the future of Chicago Bulls basketball (after Derrick Rose’s injury) and a potential one-on-one basketball game with Obama, who countered that Epstein could not beat him.

◆ The upshot: Although Epstein refused to tell the press who was going to get his vote, he created a Twitter account later Tuesday evening and tweeted at Obama, saying:

“Mr President nice meeting you last night. Can I get a follow back? PS I think that 1 on 1 game would be close.”

◆ The missed shot: Epstein did not tweet Romney.

Skippy’s world . . .

The death of a deal: Legendary newsman Walter Jacobson, who earned the sobriquet “Skippy” from legendary columnist Mike Royko, nabbed an exclusive interview with serial killer John Wayne Gacy during his imprisonment at the penitentiary in Menard in hopes of regaining his commentary segment axed by CBS General Manager Bill Applegate.

Quoth Jacobson: “. . . Applegate removed my commentary from the 10 o’clock news . . . offered to give it back if I could get Gacy in a death-row interview. I spent a year working on it, went to Menard, spent two hours with him. He wrapped a piece of string around my pencil to explain how he strangled his victims. Having denied to me that he committed the murders, he realized his mistake and said ‘Oh, I was telling you how it could be done. I didn’t do it.’ ”

◆ The buckshot: “We ran five nights of the interview, blew away the ratings. Applegate never gave me back the commentary.”

All this and more in Jacobson’s new book: “Walter’s Perspective: A Memoir of Fifty Years in Chicago TV News.”

The buzz blotter . . .

The Rev. Dan Mallette, the popular but cantankerous priest who lost his parish pulpit at St. Margaret of Scotland recently, was given two tickets, pocket money and a limo ride to the Northern Illinois University football game in DeKalb last Saturday to watch his protege, Nabal Jefferson, play in the team’s homecoming game.

The givers: The Access One telecommunications company.

Sneedlings . . .

Thursday’s birthdays: Jerrod Melman, 30; Mike Ditka, 73, and Jean-Claude Van Damme, 52.

Hair scare . . .

In reel vs. real life: Actor Christopher Walken (right), whose hair always seems to be a mess in movies, was spotted dining at the posh Pump Room on Friday with his gray mane kind of . . . askew. His movie, “Seven Psychopaths,” in which he plays guess what — a psychopath — is in theaters.



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