Is it breaking bad for Mitt Romney? It certainly seems so. Like Walter White, he seems more than a little angry these days. First, his choice of Paul Ryan was not a home run, and not without risk. Next, his convention was odd and ineffective: Chris Christie talking about himself; Clint Eastwood talking to a chair; and Paul Ryan picked apart by the fact-checkers. In fact, the only two important speeches that came off well were from Ann and Mitt Romney, which might have only increased Mitt Romney’s sense of angry isolation. Then came the Democratic convention, judged by most to have been a success, and the polls confirm it. Fox News has Obama ahead today by 5 percentage points.
On Sunday, Ann Romney vented her frustration. Then yesterday, Mitt Romney went all Nixon on us, at least in the eyes of Peggy Noonan, when he defended his inaccurate and ill-advised criticism of the Obama administration's response to the violence in Libya, Egypt and beyond. Further adding to Romney's sense of siege must be the media, which is feasting on his mistakes and shortcomings, and the constant carping from conservative circles that he is falling short on this or that.
Romney needs to regroup and focus on what he can control, such as his performance in the first debate, which takes place in less than three weeks. That could make up for a lot of damage.