Revisiting the Strangest Moment in Last Night's Debate (Update: Candy Retracts Her Backtrack)

This is the moment that debate moderator Candy Crowley jumped up from behind her desk and tackled Mitt Romney just as he was striding toward a game-changing touchdown. The replacement refs of the NFL had nothing on Crowley. They merely got calls wrong. I don't recall them ever slipping into a linebacker role and making a game-saving tackle for any team.

The debate rules stipulated that the audience was not allowed to applaud either candidate. But as you can hear in the video, some members of the audience broke that rule at this crucial point in the debate, to reinforce Crowley. Among those audience members who flouted the rules was certainly the lady in pink. At :26 in you can see her clapping away just as the camera cuts to the wide shot.

That's First Lady Michelle Obama, breaking the rule to applaud Candy Crowley, who was breaking the original agreement in which the moderator's role was more limited, and getting facts wrong but in a way that protected President Obama from having to make the humiliating admission that he and his team have been covering up the terrorist assault in Benghazi.

Rules and facts are for the little people.

More: An eye witness confirms that it was Michelle Obama applauding.

Update: Today on CNN, Crowley backtracks on her backtrack. She got the facts wrong, but in smug MSM fashion, refuses to admit it.

“Listen, what I said on that stage is the same thing I said to you actually last night,” she Soledad O’Brian. “[W]e got hung up on this ‘yes he said,’ ‘no I didn’t,’ ‘I said terror,’ ‘you didn’t say terror.’ … So I said, [President Obama] did say ‘acts of terror, call it an act of terror, but Governor Romney, you are perfectly right that it took weeks for them to get past the tape.’”

Asked if that was a backtrack, Crowley said, “No. The question was — we got so stuck on that ‘act of terror.’ Now, did the President say this was an act of terror? The president did not say — he said ‘these acts of terror,’ but he was in the Rose Garden to talk about Benghazi, so I don’t think that’s a leap.” (The exact phrase Obama used: “no acts of terror.”)