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Romney's Quiet Rise

By Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal - November 5, 2012

We begin with the three words everyone writing about the election must say: Nobody knows anything. Everyone’s guessing. I spent Sunday morning in Washington with journalists and political hands, one of whom said she feels it’s Obama, the rest of whom said they don’t know. I think it’s Romney. I think he’s stealing in “like a thief with good tools,” in Walker Percy’s old words. While everyone is looking at the polls and the storm, Romney’s slipping into the presidency. He’s quietly rising, and he’s been rising for a while.

Obama and the storm, it was like a wave that lifted him and then moved on, leaving him where he’d been. Parts of Jersey and New York are a cold Katrina. The exact dimensions of the disaster will become clearer when the election is over. One word: infrastructure. Officials knew the storm was coming and everyone knew it would be bad, but the people of the tristate area were not aware, until now, just how vulnerable to deep damage their physical system was. The people in charge of that system are the politicians. Mayor Bloomberg wanted to have the Marathon, to show New York’s spirit. In Staten Island last week they were bitterly calling it “the race through the ruins.” There is a disconnect.

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