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in the September 24 edition of Time Magazine.  In this piece, Klein begins by telling us of first meeting Romney in 2005, of the then Governor and his passion for the health care plan that came out of the Heritage Foundation.  As Klein notes of Romney and his plan,

it was a huge step in the right direction, and Romney had mastered every detail of it. He seemed a near Clintonian policy wonk, a guy who certainly wouldn't have offered the disingenuous comments about health care that Romney did Sept. 9 on Meet the Press.
Klein goes through that appearance, and the flip-flops on health acre that came out of that appearance.  Then he writes
Romney's health gaffe came at a moment of peril for his candidacy. His party's convention had failed to lift him and would be remembered eternally for Clint Eastwood's empty chair. The Democratic convention, by contrast, had been extremely successful, even if Obama's speech wasn't. Indeed, the Obama people seem to have a far more sophisticated sense of how to run a campaign than the Romney people do.
That somewhat dismissive comment about Obama's convention speech shows how much Klein is representative of the Village, the conventional wisdom about Washington politics.

Klein quotes a Republican operative who points out the limited effect of general election advertising as a means of setting the stage.

Please keep reading.

He continues with this devastating commenbt:  

The result was that assorted underemployed Republican talking heads and political consultants launched a schadenfreude feeding fiesta. The Romney campaign was inept, insubstantial, panicky, heading down the drain, they said, sounding almost as the Democrats did about Kerry in 200
Klein reminds us that Kerry did well in the first debate in 2004, momentarily lifting him up in his contest with Bush, and that some Republican still hold out that hope for Romney, a hope that Klein dismisses:  
But I suspect Romney won't do so well in the debates for the same reason that he didn't do so well on Meet the Press. It's hard to be effective when you're biting your tongue and swallowing your pride at the same time.
  Klein offers some explanation of what is underlying this, which you can read on your own, before concluding
The public will occasionally turn out an incumbent President, but only when offered a real alternative. Mitt Romney has offered them only a mirage.
This is the third post I have made in about 90 minutes, to call attention to what the chattering class has to say about Romney.

One might discount what Eugene Robinson has to say, since he is clearly a liberal in his orientation.  But Ruth Marcus is very much in the center, and Joe Klein, who has been around a long time, is also not a liberal flame thrower.

Look at some of Klein's expressions:

disingenuous comments about health care

It's hard to be effective when you're biting your tongue and swallowing your pride at the same time.

only a mirage

I have to say, I am enjoying this.  Is that wrong?

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