Over time, sober analysis might slowly turn in Romney’s favor, too. Consider how Obama’s words were taken out of context. He was really making a case for why liberals had to renew their efforts to improve people’s finances, “to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives.”

Likewise, Romney was actually arguing that there was no point pitching his low tax policy to the 47% of Americans who already don’t pay income taxes because … they don’t pay taxes.

What he meant by “I don’t have to worry about them,” was that he didn’t need to court their vote. He wasn’t saying that if he saw them begging in the street he’d drive his limo straight on by.

In fact, the “47%” speech reads a lot better on the page than it sounds on the video. Part of Romney’s problem isn’t the content of his ideas, but the ubiquitous context of wealth and power. His host was a one-percenter with a taste for extravagant parties, and Romney delivered his line as if sharing the inner workings of a Ponzi scheme.