March 4, 2013
Dick Morris
Dick Morris (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Dick Morris is the fellow who on Fox News famously predicted a landslide in favor of the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. That scenario failed to pan out, to say the least, leaving Morris responsible for an explanation. Failure to accurately predict turnout among key Democratic constituencies, said Morris, was a grand factor in his foolish mistake/conscious and willful distortion.

Yet Morris, in this mea culpa, also blamed the weather:

But the more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christe’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.

It made all the difference.

Or perhaps it didn’t.

Romney himself addressed the matter in a fabulous interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News. The question drilled in on late-stage campaign politics: “Just before the election,” Wallace asked, “Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie, the New Jersey’s governor’s embrace, literally and figuratively, of President Obama. How much did that hurt?”

Romney: “I don’t think that’s why the president won the election.”

The ex-candidate, however, wasn’t finished: “My campaign had to kind of stop. We were in the last week and this was a time — we were getting ready to hammer, hammer, hammer our message and we had to stop.”

That sounds a bit like this riff from Morris:

Sandy, in retrospect, stopped Romney’s post-debate momentum. She was, indeed, the October Surprise. She also stopped the swelling concern over the murders in Benghazi and let Obama get away with his cover-up in which he pretended that a terrorist attack was, in fact, just a spontaneous demonstration gone awry.

According to a pretty good source, all that Romney momentum had come to a halt well before Sandy socked New Jersey.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.