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So why was Romney nicer to Bob Schieffer than he was to Candy Crowley? No talking over the moderator tonight, no efforts to steam-roll everyone in earshot? The worst we got was lots of wandering, seemingly pointless, but, I have to admit, very high-speed yammering.

Could Romney’s earlier behavior been been due to the fact that Crowley’s a woman?  In my past life in management, I encountered lots of men who consistently tried to talk over female colleagues, and Romney seems to be the type. It was great watching Crowley shoot him down.

But, but, you stammer, he was just as rude to Jim Lehrer, another white male. But, of course, Lehrer is a retired (hence, non-threatening) broadcaster from PBS which Romney’s supporters revile as the lair of the liberal media they fantasize about interminably. Wipe the floor with Lehrer, they all cheer.

Speculation aside, I’m guessing Romney’s gentle stammering and pleading glances were simply an awkward effort to steal himself some undecided or wavering voters, particularly women. There are some indications that the mutual aggression on display in the last debate wasn’t going over well with that particular group. Too bad most of us are just as turned off by would-be leaders who give the impression they’re cringing in the corner while daddy tells them to take a time out and promise not to ever, ever fib again.