It was probably one of the dumbest ideas the Republican leadership has ever had.
In agreeing to a request from the White House to allow cameras to cover the President debating 140 GOP House members through a Q&A process, the GOP displayed gross overconfidence, an underestimation of this President and a totally wrong evaluation of the political implications of recent polls.
The GOP leadership felt they had Obama’s number in view of recent successes. They saw this coming together as an opportune time to move in for the political kill – a chance to embarrass Mr Obama, and finish him off in full public view.
House members of the “Party of No” were salivating in anticipation – the GOP leadership couldn’t wait – they wanted a coup de gras to politically decapitate the leader of the opposition forces.
Alas for the Republicans, when it was over, only one of the 141 combatants who engaged, was able to depart the scene with his head attached and in the right place. As historians will record and it will be remembered, the battered, demoralised troops of the GOP limped away oozing volumes of political gore, licking their wounds and rueing to all in earshot,” that their original decision was a mistake “.
On retiring from the field looking like the “David of the Democrats”, the President returned to the Oval office to get on with more challenging work.
In Baltimore, the GOP was in “retreat”, though not in the way they had planned.