Ross Douthat’s post on Romney’s big speech reminds me of one point I wanted to make about it, by quoting this passage:
A lot of pundits are saying I should stand up and say this whole thing is a mistake, admit it and walk away … There’s only one problem: it wouldn’t be honest. I did what I believed was right for the people of my state.
I think it’s almost always a mistake for candidates to provide political commentary. Romney shouldn’t have put himself on the same plane as these pundits, shouldn’t have made it explicit that he pays attention to them, shouldn’t go meta and talk about the political implications of the performance he’s giving as he’s giving it. Too many candidates do this kind of thing, and it rarely works to their benefit.