Tom Maguire @ JustOneMinute:
Huh? The Middle East erupts in the sort of rioting that in earlier days Obma would reflexively blame on that hateful cowboy Bush, thereby prompting Molly Ball of The Atlantic to wonder whether this signals the collapse of the Romney campaign. Hmm, a bit more good news – maybe a Euro collapse and an Iraian missile launch towards Israel – might signal the return of the House to Nancy Pelosi. Keep hope alive, Ms. Ball!
Or maybe not – Clive Crook, also of the Atlantic, restrains his mirth manfully but has a few questions, after first exerpting Ms. Ball:
But his comments struck a sour note in light of the fact that the Egyptian embassy’s statement condemning those who would attempt “to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims” had long since been disavowed by the administration.
The disavowal makes Romney looks worse? I agree that in his press conference Romney should have acknowledged it–failing to do that was another fumble. But the more important fact, surely, is that the administration did actually disavow the statement. In other words, Romney’s criticism had some merit!
Indeed – how dare Romney criticize something Obama was about to criticize. Ms. Ball does conclude her piece with a possily prescient “on the other hand”:
Romney’s Libya blunder might be just a blip, a single news cycle lost in a campaign that still has nearly two months to go and will surely refocus on the economy before long. There’s also the possibility that further developments overseas reflect badly on the administration and somehow make Romney’s critique look prescient rather than crass.
I do agree that Romney missed a good opportunity to shut up and let the situation develop and the facts emerge. It will be difficult for some to face but what we are seeing is an administration with an empty Middle East policy and no preparation or appropriate security in Libya. As the public contemplates that over the next few days or weeks it will probably not hurt Romney.
REMEMBERING ANDREW SULLIVAN: Let’s reprise his full facial from 2007: