Here is Jennifer Rubin today listing errors in primary coverage by “the media”:
Romneycare fixation. The media, especially in the conservative blogosphere where Romneycare is seen as a nearly unforgivable transgression, didn’t listen to what voters (oh, them) were saying matters most: the economy and beating President Obama. It led the media to understate Mitt Romney’s advantages, thereby lowering expectations and in an odd way helping him weather the rise and fall of not-Romney candidates.
It seems that Rubin is not including herself in this indictment of “the media” and “conservative media outlets,” but she should. Here is Rubin on February 14, 2011 in the wake of CPAC (via William Jacobson):
However, if there is one point of consensus among plugged-in Republicans on the 2012 field, it is that Romney can’t win unless he does a mea culpa on RomneyCare. Since he didn’t and he won’t do that, he’s not going to be the nominee. Other than Romney admirers (and even some of them!) it’s hard to find serious Republican players who disagree with that.
And so when Romney ignored the topic at CPAC, he hardly did “no harm.” To the contrary, he simply reinforced the notion that he has an insuperable problem. Not only did his “ignore the elephant in the room” tactic not go over well with Republican pols, activists and insiders, but the competition showed up.
So ten months ago, Massachusetts health care was Romney’s “insuperable problem,” and today the “fixation” on it counts as one of the most glaring errors of primary coverage for the entire year. It’s not news to me that Romney’s health care liability has been greatly exaggerated. I do find it a bit rich to see Rubin lecturing the nameless “many in the media” for their shoddy coverage when she was one of the leading pundits arguing that health care was an enormous liability for Romney.