The New York Times reported over the weekend that, to prepare for the debate, Mitt Romney has been memorizing and practicing "zingers" dreamed up by his team. But "zingers" are just as empty in calories as their junk food namesake, the Hostess Zinger, writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. Indeed, Mitt Romney's campaign "has been the Zinger candidacy—all sugary platitudes, no protein." Both Romney and Paul Ryan have gotten quite good at doling out putdowns against President Obama and the Democrats, but they still aren't offering any actual substance to back them up.
In fact, Ryan was specifically asked for more substance by a supporter in Iowa yesterday. "Let me give you some specific answers," Ryan replied, but followed up with what Milbank calls "just a couple of nibbles" and a reference to a vaguely defined "five-point plan" that will—Milbank's word—"magically" create jobs and bring down tax rates. Romney could change course at tonight's debate, but he won't. And that's too bad for him, because it's hard to actually succeed with "a well-landed zinger"—and "for each of those, there are many failed attempts in which a candidate’s line sounds forced and canned." Click for Milbank's full column.