the Romneys and their chattering flak-claque spin the debate—results: hysterically funny
“Judging winners and losers in the moments immediately after such a debate is a dicey exercise at best, and I recommend against it. Nonetheless, by midnight, countless bloggers had given first reactions, and, the Romney press release lifted pro-Romney quotes from 11 of them, with (to the campaign’s credit), links to the original so you could check for yourself the full context. That small intellectual honesty point is, unfortunately, taken back” … writes the estimable Eric Black of ericblackink.com in a blog post titled The magic of selective perception: A Mitt Romney example.
… by the heavy-handed dishonesty of the choices. The one that jumped out at me, from the press release, was the excerpt from Marc Ambinder’s Atlantic magazine-based political blog. The excerpt in the press release read … more, wherein the estimable Mr. Black details how the Romneys cherry-picked positive noise about Romney from a review that was anything but positive about Romney.
But what were the Romney flaks to do? Romney tanked, was the consensus. Some disagreed with the consensus, e.g. Jason Bonham on race42008 claimed Romney was “pretty good,” but Mr. Bonham’s criterion for “pretty good” is pretty odd: apparently Romney ticked off answers that were more “comprehensive” than his rivals. Contra Bonham, even shameless Romney sycophants like NRO’s Jim Geraghty could find nothing to love in Romney’s lackluster under-performing performance—and this was the consensus view:
It wasn’t just me – [Romney’s] answers on Iraq just seemed a little off, not his strongest performance. (Was it just me or did he just look bad? Bad makeup, bad lighting or is he fighting a cold or something?) As they noted in the Corner, stronger on domestic than the Iraq stuff, but he’s had better nights. This night won’t hurt him that much, but he’s had a good run lately, so maybe he was due for an off night ... more
Disappointed sycophants like Geraghty aside, even paid Romney flunkies were less than overwhelmed by Romney’s non-performance. EXAMPLE: the Romney flak-claque fraud-blog “Evangelicals for Mitt” damns poor Romney, the signer of their checks, with the faintest of faint praise. The sad and tedious David French opines:
Here’s the pattern: Rudy does very well (he shines in these formats), Huckabee has a memorable moment or two, and our guy always delivers a performance that seems to play better with the watching public than it does with the pundits. As for McCain, he’s up and down … I still think that no one does better across the entire spectrum of issues than [Romney] … more
Rudy shines—shines!—please keep in mind that this is a post from a web log called “Evangelicals for Mitt! Huckabee and McCain shine too for French, but intermittently. Romney, on the other hand, is steady, constant, and consistent; “competent” is the word that Romney toadies use to describe their hapless candidate’s poise and presence. (Competent? Our mechanic is competent. Our dentist is competent.) In other words, Romney never inspires, but he rarely fails to deliver. Hence, French concludes:
… but for now I’d say that the debate did not alter the dynamic of the race in the slightest bit … more
Translation: Romney as a debater is a failure. He can plod “competently” along with the others; but he cannot pull away from the pack. Romney triumphs only where his vast personal wealth allows him to command the debate on his own terms—i.e. where everyone else is silent.
And this is from someone on Romney’s payroll!
Is French a mole for the Rudy campaign!?
Or: is French trying to suck up to other candidates in advance of a Romney meltdown?