28 September 2012

Yet another Pre-Obituary for Mitt Romney's campaign, from POLITICO

In the End, it's Mitt


My jaw hit the floor when I saw who penned this op-ed on the Mitt Romney candidacy of 2012:

"By MIKE ALLENJONATHAN MARTIN and JIM VANDEHEI | 9/28/12 4:31 AM EDT" 

Folks, those are the BIG THREE of Politico, the entire weight of the editorial staff. And Politico is, to put it mildly, no friend of Obama. Notice the time of day that this OP-ED appeared. Politico always does this when it wants to get a distasteful (well, for their party) subject out of the way. And Politico devoted a FOUR PAGE article to this today. Wow. I am quoting a considerable portion of this OP-ED, but there is still a great deal more to read at the website itself.

The title:

In the end, it’s Mitt

Quotes:


"It isn’t the chair or the ho-hum convention. Or the leaked video. Or Stuart Stevens. Or the improving economy. Or media bias. Or distorted polls. Or the message. Or Mormonism.

It’s Mitt.

With Republicans everywhere wondering what has happened to the Mitt Romney campaign, people who know the candidate personally and professionally offer a simple explanation: It’s the candidate himself.

Slowly and reluctantly, Republicans who love and work for Romney are concluding that for all his gifts as a leader, businessman and role model, he’s just not a good political candidate in this era.

It kills his admirers to say it because they know him to be a far more generous and approachable man than people realize — far from the caricature of him being awkward or distant — and they feel certain he would be a very good president.

“Lousy candidate; highly qualified to be president,” said a top Romney official. “The candidate suit fits him unnaturally. He is naturally an executive.”...

...“He’s a great leader, but he’s not a great politician,” said a top member of Romney’s organization. “As much as we complain about politicians, we like a good politician. He doesn’t have the hand-on-the-shoulder thing. He’s not quick-witted. He’s an analytical, data-driven businessperson.

And that’s the problem: His résumé and his personal style seem ill-suited for the moment. He’s a son of privilege who made hundreds of millions in private equity who is running in the first election since the 2008 economic meltdown — a meltdown many blame on rich, Wall Street tycoons. And he’s a socially stiff relic of a pre-ironic America, who struggles with improvisation and personal connections when the constant lens of the Web demands both...

...it’s important to step back and consider the broad-brush images that voters who aren’t following the race that closely are receiving courtesy of President Barack Obama’s assault and Romney’s own missteps.

This shows up every time pollsters press respondents on their concerns with Romney: “too rich for too long” or “too rich to care” come up repeatedly. This stuff isn’t complicated, said one former Republican governor“You can be rich and win Ohio, but you can’t be rich and out of touch and win Ohio,” said the governor.

Yet many of the folks who are despairing about Romney would actually love what he would do in office. Romney’s metric-obsessed transition team is fleshing out a “200-day plan” (100 days wasn’t enough time to pass a bunch of big bills) aimed at goosing the recovery and creating jobs by bringing corporate cash off the sidelines in the United States and attracting investment from abroad...

...POLITICO has talked to dozens of Republicans about this topic, many working on the campaign or raising massive amounts of money to support it. Few would talk on the record to discuss their candid appraisals of Romney.

“You have to know the room, and he doesn’t know the room,” said a top Republican in D.C. who has donated to Romney and wants him to win. “He’s missing the normal-guy gene.” That’s self-evident: Just look at his painful references to athletics as “sport,” or his call Tuesday for experienced referees to return to “the NFL playing fields.” It’s just not how factory workers in Toledo, Ohio, talk...

...Romney’s inherent challenge isn’t merely that he can’t be one of the guys. Voters seem hungry for raw competence. They will suffer a bad or tough bedside manner if they trust Romney as a capable leader who can make things better.

But Romney’s friends say he lacks a gut instinct for how audiences will hear what he says. So much of his life has been spent talking to small slices of Americana — CEOs, investors, fellow Mormons.

Take his remarks on the eve of the Summer Olympics. With people feeling good about the festivities ahead, he said it remained to be seen if London would get the security right. Romney, said one friend, was doing what he does best in private: making an honest appraisal of the risks and rewards of a situation. Sure, someone should have told Romney not to say it publicly. But a natural politician would have known it instinctively: Even if what you’re saying is accurate and logical, don’t trash your host as soon as you arrive...

...Rare is the moment where Romney sings the praises of the working stiff, the cop on the beat, the waitress pulling a double shift. In military terms, he seems to be under the impression that the American electorate is filled with colonels, not privates and corporals.

Mike Huckabee famously suggested to Jay Leno that Romney reminds people of “the guy who laid you off.” But talk to the same friends who cringe at some of these public moments and they describe a man who goes out of his way to help friends or neighbors or people in need brought to his attention by his church...

...Campaign officials, in the end, think likability is the least of his issues. The much bigger one is this sense that Romney is not comfortable in his skin, at least the conservative, no-compromise skin he had to put on to win the nomination.

His past willingness to change or shade his views for apparent political advantage resulted, over time, in one of his biggest political vulnerabilities. One close confidant said Romney sees the process like buying a company from a reluctant seller: Just do and say what you need to do to get the deal done, and then when it’s done, do what you know actually needs to be done to make the company a success. It is hard to overestimate how much confidence Romney and many around him have that he can lead once he has the power to lead."

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So, I read the OP-ED 3 times through, to let it sink in. Amazing to see this kind of pre-obituary 6 weeks before the election. Just amazing.

The quotes I bolded in red about Romney are not, I repeat, not from the opposition. They are from Republicans within his own ranks.


The bolded in green is just another way of expressing what I have been saying all along: that Mitt Romney, purely out of expediency, was willing to say anything, do anything to kiss the Tea Party's ass in order to get nominated - and I have been saying all along that this batshit crazy stuff that he said then will be his own poison in the GE. And now we are 6 weeks away from the GE and the poison is very evident.

Some of the other stuff: yes, maybe Romney is an outstanding executive, maybe he would make a good president, who knows. But I would really, really, really like to see that 200 day plan that is referred to here. 

I am sure that, at some point in time, we will get our hands on this 200-day plan, if it really exists, and then I would go through it with a fine-toothed comb. For, you see, if Mitt Romney really, really, really had a plan that was definitely better than Obama's, I would even consider voting for him. Yes, @kmiller1610 , you can cease fainting. I really did write that. I am neither a single-issue voter nor am I a blind Democrat, though I believe very much in most of the Democratic Platform and despise many parts of the Republican Platform. But I will write again: were Romney to have a plan that, in my eyes, was truly better than what Obama has done and wants to do to fix the economy after the worst crash since 1929, then I could easily consider voting for the man. But till now, Mitt Romney has still not presented a detailed plan in any way. Not even once. It is all fine and good for people to mention it in a Politico OP-ED, but that does the American voter absolutely no good at all.

Bill Clinton laid down a very exact list of things he would do to revive an economy that had slumped terribly under Bush, Sr. It was for this reason that Bill Clinton won.

Here we have an economic crisis from 2008 that literally dwarfs anything back to 1929 and a Democratic President who has done literally everything in his power to fix all he can. And Republicans with blood-lust written all over their foreheads, hoping to block any chance of recovery so that they could get elected again. The American people are not stupid, generally speaking. And they have good memories.

About that plan: I would really, really, really like to see that 200 day plan, but I would also bet the farm that his plan would look a hell of a lot like the plans that President Obama has been trying to get the Congress, blocked by the GOP led House of Representatives, through. And for this very reason, Mitt Romney is mum on his 200 day grand plan.


This is now the fourth time within about 10 days that massive pre-obituaries of the Romney campaign have some out in CONSERVATIVE or conservative leaning media. The writing on the wall must be very clear to these guys. Just today, Rasmussen also did his pre-obituary and reminded that debates do not move the polling needle as much as people want to think.

As far as personal impressions, I have no doubt that at his core, Mitt Romney is probably a pretty decent fellow, a family man, a man who does indeed have core ethics and values. But Barack Obama is also a decent man, also a family man, a man who does indeed have core ethics and values. But I don't necessarily vote for the guy (or gal) I like the most. I vote for the guy (or gal) who I think will do the better job. And I am quite sure that Mitt Romney could in no way do a better job of presidenting than Barack Obama.

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