It’s not clear to me why Mitt Romney was so hell-bent on delivering his Detroit Economic Club speech today (officially unveiling the tax plan everybody’s been writing about all week) at a nearly-empty Ford Field (he even joked about it) but that’s what he did, after his poor advance team discarded several scenarios for making the site look no more empty than his rhetoric.

Maybe he thought it was a suitable venue for doing a big shout-out to the Detroit Lions, who recently completed their best season in a couple of decades. But even at their absolute nadir, the Lions were drawing a lot more than the 1200 souls who showed up to listen to Mitt’s pithy remarks. And from a superstitious point of view, Romney should probably be aware the resurgent Lions haven’t quite made it to the Superbowl just yet.

Sometimes the Romney Death Star looks terrifying to us mere mortals whose ambitions are clouded by inconveniences like day-jobs and scruples. But sometimes it looks more like a machine built around a self-regarding man who thinks his image is too big for anything smaller than a stadium Jumbotron.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.