By Sam Stein
The crowd ate it up.
Outside the halls, however, a different rationale for a Romney candidacy was being pushed by supporters. The Massachusetts Republican, they said, is the polar opposite of Sarah Palin.
“Intelligence versus not-so-intelligent,” was the pitch by Ken Merritt, a Virginia-based Romney supporter with roots in Palin’s home state of Alaska. “Fluff versus not about fluff … [Palin] does a great show on TV, though.”
Swipes like these have been common during this year’s gathering of conservative activists. A no-show at CPAC for several years running, Palin has been a popular subject among the convention crowd, her absence interpreted either as an innocent scheduling conflict or, more often, evidence that she doesn’t feel the need to placate conservative voters.
Even absent from the convention, Palin is getting more attention than the “anti-Palin.”