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Matthews: 'Mitt Romney is fretting his hour upon the stage'

Let me finish tonight with this.Mitt Romney is fretting his hour upon the stage.

Let me finish tonight with this.

Mitt Romney is fretting his hour upon the stage. He served his time getting here—running and losing, running and saying what he had to say, signing the documents of admission the right had placed before him. He was, when asked to cite his strongest character trait, "resolute."

Resolute, yes, but toward what? 

Some troublemakers in Los Angeles put out a preview of an anti-Islamic movie. It goes viral, gets translated to Arabic, hits the Cairo streets and cafes. Suddenly, there are militants climbing the walls of our embassy.  

What does Romney do? Does he decry the anti-Islamic movie?  

Actually, no. He had nothing to say about that, nothing at all. All he did was put out a statement attacking a statement some official in the Cairo embassy had put out decrying the anti-Islamic movie.  

Mr. Romney had nothing to say about the movie that stirred things up because, let's agree on this: except for the snippets that he issues attacking his rival, he doesn't have much at all to say about anything. And that's the huge emptiness people are starting to notice in this person. Except for his faith, family and business, he doesn't have a whole lot on his mind, in his mind. He's been in public life a long time, perhaps a generation now. If he thought anything, was curious about anything, had discovered anything in life...he's yet to let it out. And, yes, this is why his tent is starting to flop.  

The great writer William Manchester described the 1948 presidential campaign of New York governor Tom Dewey: "Superbly organized, rigorously on schedule, providing the very latest thing in media equipment, designed to carry, spread, and disseminate whatever he wished to say.""He wished to say nothing."

And that could end up being the epitaph for Romney in 2012.