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Why Romney’s Austerlitz Strategy Worked


In 1805, Napoleon, his forces outnumbered by those of the Russians and the Austrians, set a classic trap, feigning weakness and timidity, and lulling his opponents into complacency and overconfidence. They took the bait, and he fell upon them at the moment he could do the utmost damage. Something similar happened last night. Obama, lulled into complacency by an apparently weak and outnumbered rival, showed up for the fight wholly unprepared for the strength of his adversary, who like Napoleon had camouflaged his assets. Romney fell upon the president at precisely the moment he could inflict the greatest damage, on live television with the whole nation watching. It was a masterly performance by a candidate who, far from being the ineffectual bumbler many have supposed him to be, showed himself not only a brilliant debater but also an excellent strategist. Last night was Romney’s Austerlitz. Will November 6 be Obama’s Waterloo?


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