While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was praising President Obama's intense engagement in the post-Sandy devastation of Christie's state, Mitt was doing photo-ops in Ohio on a day when he said he wouldn't be campaigning at all. Christie emphatically described Obama's quick action to expedite FEMA's assistance as ''outstanding" and said he didn't care if such praise violated party loyalties in the presidential race.
Meantime, Romney was more circumspect about FEMA, the agency that he has long dismissed as a drag on the federal budget, having once said that critical disaster work could best be handled by the private sector! He didn't say how that would be fail-safe but it is a clue to his secret plan to end the deficit. Does that make you feel more secure these days if your town is hit by another disaster with him in the Oval Office?
On Tuesday, trapped by his past feeble notions, he ignored all questions from reporters on whether he now felt that FEMA was necessary for the nation's domestic emergencies. It was just Mitt being Mitt when he faces an unpleasant situation that can't be solved by metrics and IPOs.
Having watched this guy since the start of the primaries, I've concluded that his campaign is much like the Seinfeld series: It's a campaign about nothing.
That being the case, the narrative must find a way to gain traction with lies. Not that he nor his supporting cast worry much that it all reflects on Romney's incurable waffling and dishonesty. Indeed, any challenge to his plot devices is merely cause to repeat them. When top Chrysler executives criticized his fictional Jeeps-to-China TV ads, the trash talk continued to turn up on TV and radio, especially in the Toledo area where the auto industry has heavy impact on the economy.
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Poor John McCain. He grows more erratic by the hour. There he was in Ohio with Josh Mandel at his side - ya know, the old soldier and his young aide-de-camp - asserting on TV that Obama was "unqualified" to be America's commander-in-chief. The only thing I can figure is that McCain is bored and needs to hug up to Romney for a possible appointment to Team Romney if Mitt lands in the White House. I think he might be holding a pair of sixes against a full house.
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The Columbus Dispatch today endorsed Sherrod Brown over Josh - the second conservative Republican paper forced to concede the wide gulf that separates the two candidates.The other paper: The Cincinnati Enquirer.
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My column on the Romney campaign's lies about Obama and the auto industry is posted on Plunderbund.