“Remember, it’s not what other people think of you that matters. It’s what you think of them. That’s how you live your life.” – Gore Vidal, political assassin extraordinaire

IT’S AN October surprise, but not the kind anyone was expecting.

In front of enthusiastically committed women in battleground Virginia, Barack Obama, The Candidate, told voters why he was running for a second term and what it was all about, while delivering the seminal message of the campaign season, which had Obama reaching deep one more time to close this thing out.

It’s got the Big Dog’s backing, so Obama is running with it, making it his pitch for a second term. It’s thin, but it’s true and it’s all he’s got. No one could have gotten the country out of the mess that landed on his desk in January ’09 and in a second term he’ll finish what he started. Don’t give up yet, because if you think he’s bad, “Romnesia” is far worse.

It wasn’t just a closing argument.

It was the opening, middle and final sale against his opponent, with Barack Obama reminding voters that Mitt Romney’s entire political career has careened from one ideological extreme to another and back to the center, the objective to sucker voters one more time.

Urgency was of the essence, because Romnesia is dangerous and it’s spreading.

Maybe Team Obama had this planned before the Al Smith dinner. It hardly matters, because afterward it was required. “Romnesia” could easily have developed organically out of the drama to recover.

Romney’s Al Smith message hit direct and deep, meant to penetrate the psyche of Barack Obama, who less than two weeks ago got knocked to the ground in a surprise round house punch that left the ’08 champ winded and defensive. Then, with scalpel wit crafted for maximum shiv depth, Romney’s nuclear tipped jokes dripped off his tongue, coming packaged in white tie grace, fitting of a performance that really should be getting a lot more credit than it is.

By comparison, Barack Obama played President Pattycake, getting in a few witticisms, the best of which were trained on himself. He simply didn’t come with game meant to last past the hors d’Ã…”uvres.

So, by the time it was over and the wave of hoots that rippled around the room at Obama’s expense had landed on Team Obama’s radar, the media was sending out video of the easy to remember Romney routine at the same time Obama’s performance with Jon Stewart landed, reminding voters yet again that Obama still hadn’t answered all the questions on Libya.

Romney wants the job and people are starting to get accustomed to the notion of seeing him daily and he’s not wearing too badly. The Romney outside the negative ads isn’t all that scary. He could indeed be president.

Full. Stop.

The “Romnesia” bit Candidate Obama unleashed in Virginia this Friday is the final flourish of a man who’s seen hope mountain and is all too aware he can’t get people to climb it again. But he’s not going to lose by allowing the other guy to beat him by taking everyone up a hill that leads off another steep cliff.

If I needed any proof of the acid reaction of the “Romnesia” shiv, listening to Sean Hannity today provided it. From Hannity’s opening hiss until the first commercial break, the Fox News star went on a hair on fire tirade about “Romnesia,” accompanied by a heart burn laugh that showed his naked panic.

“Romnesia” has the power to make Mitt Romney a laughing stock while reminding people of the many sides of Mitt and the progression that led to the deadly diagnosis that could be terminal if people aren’t cured. Now.

Barack Obama is also making it clear that he’s the only antidote.

Romnesia easily proven through clips unloaded one after another to show Governor Mitt against Right Wing “Personhood Amendment” Mitt, then seguing to “I Won’t Defund Planned Parenthood” Mitt, all packaged for political detonation as the the election weeks number only two before the winner is called.

It’s a political plague, baby. Vote for your life!

BARACK OBAMA: But now that we’re 18 days out from the election, Mr. “Severely Conservative” wants you to think he was “severely kidding” about everything he’s said over the last year. He told folks he was “the ideal candidate” for the Tea Party, now suddenly he’s saying, “what, who, me?” He’s forgetting what his own positions are, and he’s betting that you will too.

I mean he’s changing up so much “” backtracking and sidestepping. We’ve gotta name this condition that he’s going through.. I think it’s called “Romnesia.” That’s what it’s called. I think that’s what he’s going through.

Now, I’m not a medical doctor but I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you because I want to make sure nobody else catches it.

If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work “” you might have Romnesia.

If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care “” you might have a case of Romnesia.

If you say you’ll protect a woman’s right to choose, but you stand up at a primary debate and said that you’d be “delighted” to sign a law outlawing that right to choose in all cases “” man, you’ve definitely got Romnesia.

Now, this extends to other issues. If you say earlier in the year I’m going to give a tax cut to the top 1 percent and then in a debate you say, I don’t know anything about giving tax cuts to rich folks “” you need to get a thermometer, take your temperature, because you’ve probably got Romnesia.

If you say that you’re a champion of the coal industry when while you were Governor you stood in front of a coal plant and said, this plant will kill you “” that’s some Romnesia.

So “” I think you’re beginning to be able to identify these symptoms. And if you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website, or the promises you’ve made over the six years you’ve been running for President, here’s the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions.

We can fix you up. We’ve got a cure. We can make you well, Virginia. This is a curable disease.

Women, men, all of you. These are family issues. These are economic issues. I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as anybody’s sons. I believe America does better, the economy grows more, we create more when everybody participates, when everyone’s getting a fair shot, everybody’s getting a fair shake, everybody’s playing by the same rules, everybody’s doing their fair share. That’s why I’m asking you for another term as President of the United States. I need you to help me finish the job.

“Romnesia.”

The warning goes out to everyone. Not a partisan? We understand, but this is deadly. Don’t like Obama. We don’t care, but you’re really going to hate falling victim to “Romnesia.”

It’s a wickedly evil and diabolical attack that comes with art, heart and the foundation of truth required for it to fly. A weapon aimed straight at the Achilles’ heel of the newly light-footed Mitt Romney loping towards the finish line, as America gets used to this highly acceptable guy.

The Barack Obama who showed up in Virginia is the same politician who beat Hillary.

Whether “Romnesia” is too far along to stop no one knows.

Originally posted Friday, October 19, 2012.