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I know that a lot of folks don't like Mark Halperin because he's the typical Morning Joe/Villager/Beltway-elite poobah that sets and drives media narratives and becomes arbiter of what is and isn't going to be the dominant themes of a campaign.

Like it or not, that's exactly he matters. It'd be great if we lived in a media world where Mark Halperin (and Mike Allen, and David Gregory, and... well, pick 'em) didn't exist and have the power that he does.

We don't live in that world. So follow me over the fold.

The fact remains that there's probably no reporter out there with a greater ability to set a narrative and call the balls and strikes of campaign coverage than Mark Halperin. He's credited as writing the definitive campaign narrative of 2008. He is extremely closely read by those in the media world, who look to him for leads on what is and isn't important during election coverage.

Today, he posted a particularly pointed and, I would say perturbed, shot across the bow of the Romney campaign:

BAIN ?

There are other important issues in the campaign, to be sure.

But here’s what’s pending for me on this Bain stuff:

1.How common is it for someone to be listed in corporate filings as a company’s CEO over a period of years when that person isn’t running the company?

2.Who ran Bain when Romney was overseeing the Olympics?

3.How much contact did Romney have with those people during that time?

4.When Romney left for Salt Lake City, was his understanding with firm that he was leaving for good, coming back after the Olympics, or undecided?

Governor Romney has no public events today, so if he has time to answer at least 2, 3, and 4 above, that would be great.

Read more: http://thepage.time.com/...

This is where things will start to get interested. When major national reporters feel like a campaign hasn't been transparent and isn't being forthright to the point where they start saying "Here's what I need to know, and I need to know sooner rather than later", a campaign has entered seriously hot water.

This will now drive the Sunday shows, with the major themes being Romney's transparency, his honesty, and his accountability and leadership. They are past the point of being able to change the subject, as last night's failed Condi Rice trial balloon on Drudge has proven.

Nothing short of Mitt personally submitting to adverserial questioning for serious national reporters is going to quench the media thirst at this point.

And if we know one thing about Mitt, he doesn't respond well to adverserial questioning from anyone.

UPDATE:

Halperin's page indicates that Romney has now scheduled Friday afternoon/evening interviews with ALL major news networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and CNN).

Yes, Friday is a good day for a bad news dump, and to bury this stuff.

But this proves that he is feeling the heat from the MSM (when has he ever done this before?), and these interviews will likely add a treasure trove of Bain quotes to the public record. As I said in the original diary, we also know how bad this guy is during confrontational interviews.

"Developing...."

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