(NEW YORK TIMES)

By Maureen Dowd

Sometimes in the course of human events, we must ask, as Hemingway did in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” what is that leopard doing at this altitude?

As a candidate, Mitt Romney is awkward, off-putting and hollow, so bad that if he were a Bain company, he would shut himself down.

The billion-dollar Republican campaign should be sweeping the floor with the deflated President Obama after four years of 8 percent-plus unemployment. Yet it is curdling. The little donations have dried up; how long before the big money follows?

We must also ask the Hemingway question about Stuart Stevens, the Hemingway manqué running Mitt’s campaign. “The Square and the Flair,” The New Republic dubbed the synthetic candidate and his sentient adviser, who started as Eudora Welty’s paperboy and lived by the Oscar Wilde maxim: “Nothing succeeds like excess.”


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