Trampled By The Horserace

Douthat argues that excessive horserace coverage has hurt Romney. But he isn’t giving Mitt a pass:

As a presidential candidate part of your job is to be aware of how easily the horse race narrative can overwhelm whatever story you want the country to be hearing, and to do everything in your power to actively shape a narrative that will inevitably be shaped by the press’s zeal for “who’s up/who’s down” reportage as well. By choosing instead to sit back and play it safe for much of the year, assuming that the underlying story of economic weakness would deliver them the White House no matter what stories drove coverage in the day-to-day, Team Romney set themselves up for exactly the kind of horse-race-driven disaster they’ve experienced this month.