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Mark Halperin today:

There has been barely a squawk from any significant and/or loud Democratic voice over Harry Reid’s tax accusations or the new Obama super PAC ad. And yet when Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul makes some stray, random remark about health care, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Erick Erickson go code red in their criticism of Romney and his campaign.

As a snapshot of a key metric — control over their extended teams and keeping people in line — Chicago seems to have a big advantage on this one.

I think Halperin misses the boat here. On both sides, the base will flip out if they feel their candidate is being too meek or too moderate. Likewise, they’ll cheer (sometimes publicly, sometimes privately) if their candidate bludgeons the other guy harder or throws out some policy red meat.

Obama bludgeoned the other guy harder, so lefties cheered in private and mostly left him alone in public. Romney seemingly moved a bit toward the center, so righties flipped out. These are two entirely different things, and both sides reacted according to script. It says nothing one way or the other about how well the campaigns are keeping their supporters in line.

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