Matthews: Romney misses a major moment to shine


Let me finish tonight with this.

Politics is about impulse. What do you do when there’s not a lot of time? When there’s nothing to go on but your personal, human “gut” reaction?

Last week President Obama was on the phone to Sandra Fluke, expressing his support in the face of Rush Limbaugh’s assault. 

Mitt Romney, the man who would take his place as president, was thinking about how Rush would react if he took up Fluke’s defense, worried what the man on the radio would say. He’s gung-ho to drop bombs on Iran but afraid to demur against a radio jock. That’s what happened. It took Romney ‘til Friday night to answer a reporter’s question and say Rush’s words were not the one’s he would have used.

What words would he have used to express Rush’s venomous insults? If not “slut” or “prostitute,” what words would he have chosen? Is there a finer vocabulary to casting such an insult, a more meliforous couple of words to make the same point?

Back to the impulse at work here and what it says: Obama’s was to champion the cause of the woman being assaulted. Mitt’s was to champion the assault of Rush, if with softer words.

People, and not just women, remember such moments. So does history. Jack Kennedy once called Coretta King to express his sympathy.  It changed history. 

Mitt Romney’s performance reminds me of the old Jack Benny routine:

“Your money or your life!” the robber demands. “Your money or your life!”

“Just a minute,” the skinflint Benny at last responds. “I’m thinking!!!”

Mitt Romney has to think about which side he’s on here - Rush or the woman he was insulting. ”Just a minute …. I’m thinking.”

My guess is that women in this country will remember.  


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Matthews: Romney misses a major moment to shine