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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Romneys Waterloo

They had been going at it like two pugilists. Literally it looked like Romney might take a swing at the President when he walked over and got in his space. Both men came to battle and they fought it out over taxes, health care, immigration,women's rights, the economy, and then the attack on our embassy. Clearly Romney saw this as the Presidents Achilles heel. They had been pumping helium into the "President covered up the terrorist attack" balloon for the last week trying to get it float over the White House like the Hindenburg and with any luck it might just burst into flames and singe Obamas chances for a second term. And Mitt was determined to strike the match during the slug fest of the second debate.

So he launched into his attack about the President campaigning the day after the attack and that sent Obama over the edge. His voice breaking, his eyes burning, The President told the upstart he found it offensive that he implied he was playing politics with the death of Americans. But Mitt smelled blood. He had been smelling blood ever since the first debate and like a shark he had been circling, waiting. Now he would strike. He said it took the President fourteen days to declare terrorists were behind the attack. The President countered by telling him that he said it in the Rose Garden the next day.  And here was the setup for Romneys self inflicted Waterloo.

"You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror?" And then came the look that will live into infamy. The camera caught Mitt with his eyebrows going up, a look of contempt, maybe hate for the President. He not only smelled blood, he had his teeth in the Presidential leg. And then he put his own gun to his head, doubling down for what he saw was the knockout punch. "I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the President fourteen days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror."  The President then sat back down and said cool as a cucumber. "Get the transcript.."

And now Mitt is running for Candy Crowley the moderator who is looking at Mitt like a mother who sees her son about to fall flat on his face. She nods slowly, holding up a piece of paper, fact checking Mitt in real time. "He did in fact sir." And now as Mitt is pivoting in disbelief, Obama delivers the coupe de grace. "Can you say that a little louder, Candy?" And she did. And Mitt walked back to his corner a shaken man, ashen, the glow of confidence replaced by the dazed and confused stare of a man who just shot himself in the foot.

And it was "the moment." Because in that moment the "say anything" man demonstrated again he would say anything to get to the White House. And he looked a little pathetic from then on. He had lost his footing and walked right into Obamas forty seven percent right hook that sent him back to the ropes. And then it ended and Mitt shook hands in the same dazed way and then left the field. The oxygen the Republicans had been pumping into the Romney inflatable doll started leaking immediately.

And the Waterloo of Romney was complete.

Books by William Hazelgrove