The Washington Post

The president was poised; Romney stumbled

At this solemn, serious moment, Mitt Romney had to be crisp and precise.  He was neither. At times, Romney jumbled his words and appeared to be winging it. The president had to display stature and resolve. He did both. 

I’m stunned that Romney didn’t take more time to have a clear, well-delivered statement regarding our ambassador’s murder in Libya.  The media can present a clear quote, but it will take some editing.  I’m stunned that he took questions that were guaranteed to muddle the clarity of his statement.  Somebody call Condi Rice and make Romney listen. 

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were literally on the same script at times.  The president’s remarks were reassuring and appropriate.  I could quibble, but the president said the right things and had the right tone. 

The comparison between the two men is inevitable, and the president looked like a president is supposed to. I guess Romney looked like the candidate that he is, and nothing else. 

The story is still developing, and there will be much more that will impact voters’ attitudes about the president and Romney.  Undoubtedly, the president’s conduct of the nation’s foreign policy will face questions, but his handling of the crisis in Libya and Egypt is off to a positive start. 

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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