“[C]onsider the remarkable — in a bad way — editorial in which The Des Moines Register endorsed Mr. Romney. The paper acknowledged that Mr. Obama’s signature economic policy, the 2009 stimulus, was the right thing to do. It also acknowledged that Mr. Obama tried hard to reach out across the partisan divide, but was rebuffed.
“Yet it endorsed his opponent anyway, offering some half-hearted support for Romneynomics, but mainly asserting that Mr. Romney would be able to work with Democrats in a way that Mr. Obama has not been able to work with Republicans. Why? Well, the paper claims…that, in office, Mr. Romney would be far more centrist than anything he has said in the campaign would indicate. (And the notion that he has been lying all along is supposed to be a point in his favor?) But mostly it just takes it for granted that Democrats would be more reasonable.
“Would a Democratic Senate offer equally extreme opposition to a President Romney? No, it wouldn’t. So, yes, there is a case that ‘partisan gridlock’ would be less damaging if Mr. Romney won.
“But are we ready to become a country in which ‘Nice country you got here. Shame if something were to happen to it’ becomes a winning political argument? I hope not. … [A]rguing for Mr Romney on the grounds that he could get things done veers dangerously close to accepting protection-racket politics, which have no place in American life.” Emphasis added.
From “Chris Christie’s flop at the GOP convention,” John Harris and Tim Mak, Politico:
“There is no mistaking what a successful keynote speech for Chris Christie would have looked and sounded like. There would have been an electric reaction from the crowd in the convention hall. It would have been followed by waves of effusive media commentary about how people had just heard the future of the Republican Party.
“Judged by these standards, there is also no mistaking what the New Jersey governor delivered instead: A prime-time belly-flop, one that notably failed to clear either of those two high bars.
“The fallout on Wednesday was the talk of Tampa and left Christie on the defensive to avoid lasting damage to his political fortunes. It also revealed tensions between the Christie and Mitt Romney camps.”
I would add that Christie’s me-myself-and-I approach is especially galling and alien to Mitt, given his personality and background. Mitt comes from that privileged, prep-school upbringing, based on British upper class values, that emphasizes being self-effacing and never bragging or calling attention to yourself in any way. It’s just “bad form.” It’s similar to how Bush 41 was raised, and much of the criticism about Mitt as a candidate is similar to that faced by 41. A huge culture clash between Waspy and Jersey. Kind of like having Tony Soprano appear in Brideshead Revisited.