Poor Stuart Stevens: Already derided by political insiders and slammed by conservatives, Mitt Romney's artsy, unpredictable top strategy guy today gets a grilling from Maureen Dowd. "You get the sense that the strategist considers himself cooler than the candidate, that he’s too hip to walk through fire for Mitt," Dowd writes in the New York Times. "He treats Mitt like a cardboard cutout, never asking him to risk anything or pushing him to be big, bold and inspirational."
Dowd runs down the laundry list of Stevens' gaffes, from the tax return on which Mitt paid too much to the Clint Eastwood chair routine to the "disastrous foreign trip." Behind it all, writes Dowd, is Stevens the "dabbler," who has drifted from chichi food writing to advising on The Ides of March to going skiing—as George W Bush's adviser—on the day W was trounced in the New Hampshire primary in 2000. "Romney said he liked to fire people," writes Dowd. "But his downfall may be that he does not."