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The Boston Globe

Opinion

peter s. Canellos

Mitt Romney’s biggest mistake

The bitter politics of envy. Who would have guessed that the most memorable phrase of the 2012 primary season would come from the almost deliberately bland Mitt Romney? But that line, inserted in his New Hampshire primary victory speech, could turn out to be the worst miscalculation of his career.

At the moment Romney uttered those words, he was on the top of the political world. There seemed to be no doubt about his winning the Republican nomination for president. Such a solid, sweeping victory as he achieved in New Hampshire called for a show of generosity toward his rivals, and a simple restatement of his case against President Obama — the type of speech that Romney, in preserving his front-runner aura, has been delivering with numbing regularity all fall and winter.

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