Debate Reax, Pravda Edition
11:01 AM, Feb 23, 2012 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Mitt Romney had a good night at the debate in Mesa last night. But after the debate (as well as during) the Romney campaign flooded the press with the kind of emails that make the candidate so hard to love.
One email release, for instance, was slugged, "Michigan Leaders Agree: Romney Won Tonight's Debate." There followed eight one-paragraph testimonials to Romney's victoriousness from Michigan politicos. But here's the thing: These weren't objective reactions from people who happened to see the debate—all of these men have already endorsed Romney. So of course Romney's surrogates are going to say that the candidate did well.
Now look: There's nothing wrong with having surrogates shill for a candidate—that's why God made them! What's weird is the campaign packaging their statements like they would clippings of newspaper editorial boards. It's kind of Pravda-ish.
Another email release carried a statement from Romney surrogate Bob Dole. Like the Michigan Leaders, Dole thought that Romney had a very good night. But he went further, attacking Gingrich and Santorum as "Washington insiders."
Which is certainly true. But few men have ever been "Washington insiders" to the degree Sen. Dole was. Which leaves you with one of two conclusions: Either being a Washington insider isn't such a bad thing, or, if it is a very bad thing, then we can't trust anything Sen. Dole says, either. It's like rolling out Jim Talent to criticize Santorum for voting the same way Talent did. The cognitive dissonance it creates is remarkable.
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