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Sarah Palin’s advice to Mitt Romney: 'Go rogue'

Mitt Romney has been getting lots of gratuitous advice from fellow Republicans worried about what they see as a presidential campaign slipping toward defeat. Some want Paul Ryan to play a more active role. Sarah Palin says the Romney campaign needs a ‘come to Jesus’ moment.

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As the Monitor’s Mark Trumbull reported this week, Obama leads Romney in eight out of nine swing states where the two are in tight contests: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, NevadaNew Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin. North Carolina is the only one where Mr. Romney currently has an edge.

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Unleashing Ryan may not be the answer, of course. As House Budget Committee chairman, he authored a plan that was controversial – particularly for what it portended for Medicare, the health care program for seniors. He tried to explain it at an AARP meeting this week, but was booed by many in the audience.

Apparently, that wasn’t just a one-time deal in a room full of retirees. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll this week shows Obama leading Romney by 10 points (47-37) in dealing with Medicare.

It’s a law of all organizations – including (maybe especially) political campaigns – that when things are tough, infighting and finger-pointing will ensue. Politico’s must-read scoop last Sunday – “Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled” – set off something similar among conservative pundits.

Weekly Standard editor William Kristol called Romney’s comments about “the 47 percent” who presumably would never vote for him because they pay no federal income taxes “stupid and arrogant.” Rush Limbaugh complained that “every Democrat under the sun's retweeting that all over the place,” that too many conservative fellow travelers who once supported Romney “have bailed on him.”

Over at the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, columnist and former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan wrote, “It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one.”

Then she revised her estimation: “This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite,” she wrote. “I really meant ‘rolling calamity.’"
 
 That left Chris Wallace at Fox News questioning Ms. Noonan’s “conservative bona fides.”

“Sometimes they’re New York City’s idea of conservatives,” Mr. Wallace said of Noonan and others similarly critical of the Romney campaign. Ouch. And here we thought such intramural squabbles were principally the province of Democrats.

Are you more (or less) conservative than Mitt Romney? Take our quiz!

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