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September 14, 2012

The Republican Spring (and More on “the Smirk”)

Call it the Week of Long Knives, eating your own, or Republican Spring…whichever way you slice it, Mitt Romney has had a horrible week and GOP stalwarts have been liberated from party discipline. It’s reflected in various photos of the strained and annoyed faces of former party loyalists like Joe Scarborough or Laura Ingraham as they advise the candidate, but there’s nothing new or interesting about that. The better image comes courtesy of former GOP speech writer Peggy Noonan who, after calling Romney “weak” and noting he “didn’t do himself any favors” with his remarks on Libya, added a visual aside: “At one point …… I thought, he looks like Richard Nixon.” And though we can all agree there’s nothing to smirk about when discussing the deaths of American officials in the Middle East (I don’t think Romney believes otherwise), what Romney can’t prevent is his “tell” from shining through: He smiles when defensive, when he’s angry at events or people, when he is questioned in a way for which he lacks an answer or rationale. And that came through in his fix-it second statement on the events in Egypt and Libya. It’s a thin smile that masks an entitlement to be right, to be obeyed, to be the shining center of a marketing campaign gone horribly awry. photo credit 1. PBS NewsHour, 2. Wall Street Journal LIve video, 3. Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

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