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All appeared to be going according to plan for Barack Obama until the first presidential debate. Mitt Romney was able to move to a seemingly more moderate position without renouncing his basic stance. He managed to do this because President Obama’s strategy was to look presidential, not to attack, and thus not to bring out the contradictions. It was only the next day, before a big public rally, that he made the point, saying that “the man on stage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for the real Mitt Romney’s decisions and what he’s been saying for the last year.”

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