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Romney's NAACP Gamble Pays Off Romney's NAACP Gamble Pays Off

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Romney's NAACP Gamble Pays Off

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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks before the NAACP annual convention, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in Houston, Texas.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Mitt Romney isn't going to win the African-American vote over President Obama this November. Knowing that, it would have been understandable if Romney declined the NAACP's invitation to visit Houston on Wednesday and address the group's annual convention. The prospect of speaking to a crowd that overwhelmingly supports your opponent is not only politically risky; it's personally intimidating. In such settings, and under such an intense microscope, one small misstep can snowball into a news-dominating disaster. The Romney campaign, known for being risk-averse, easily could have determined the risks outweighed the rewards and avoided the event, opting instead to have their candidate address the conference via video message.

But Romney showed up. With the critical eyes of the political world resting squarely upon him, Romney marched defiantly into the lion's den and delivered a speech that was direct, assertive and dispassionate. Undaunted, the man seeking to unseat the nation's first African-American president stood calmly before a group of his most fervent supporters and informed them that he, not Obama, is the one they've been waiting for.

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