The High Cost of Mitt Romney's Candor
When you stop to think of it, if
Both sides have been engaged in it, but it took Romney's unguarded remarks to a private audience of similarly well-heeled campaign contributors to lay bare the callowness of his whole bid for the presidency. In the end, it could turn off not only "the 47 percent" of voters he dismissed as dependents but also hordes of others jolted by his candid mindset.
His almost unprecedented act of political self-immolation -- that incredible acknowledgment at that closed fund-raiser that he was writing off nearly half of the electorate as unreachable to him -- came with the bark off, in his obvious assumption that only the like-minded would hear. Either that or his notorious tin ear for damaging observations is even worse than already imagined.
Romney said he had to go to deep-pocketed Americans because that other half -- all those millions of free-loaders who don't pay federal income taxes -- were already lost to President Obama, so he couldn't be worried about them. In the end, he seemed to be saying that we "haves" need to stick together against the "have-nots" who continue to bleed us of our hard-earned well-being.
Romney tried to wrap his pitch in the jargon of the sanctity of the free-enterprise system that rewards honest work. But in his ham-handed way, he managed to cast the core of his campaign in terms of the class warfare that his strongest supporters always like to pin on the opposition party.
The Republican challenger, thrown quickly on the defensive, lamely characterized his own narrative as "inelegant." But that was a most charitable phrase for what was one of the most revealing recitations yet uttered of a politician's view of the divided state of the American community he hopes to lead.
In an effort to recover from his description of "the 47 percent" he was writing off in this election, he said he intends to represent all "100 percent" of Americans. The comment only exacerbated his endless attempt to ingratiate himself with all those, Republicans and Democrats alike, who see him as living outside their own worlds.
At a bare minimum, the self-inflicted wound has already cost the Romney campaign many days of valuable time in a shrinking schedule until
It has been duly noted that four years ago, candidate
Up to now, two of Romney's highest hurdles to clear have been the public perception that he has little in common with average wage-earning Americans and that he can't really comprehend what they're going through in these economically trying times.
Throughout the long and combative Republican primary season, his frequent, hapless references to his personal wealth sustained those public perceptions. His latest lengthy and specific remarks expressing a view of a huge American underclass of dependent takers at the expense of their better-off fellow citizens have handed the Obama campaign strategists an ugly albatross. They, and Obama himself, can be counted upon to hang it around Romney's neck from here on in.
In attempting to pivot away from this untimely turn of events in the campaign, and with his support slipping in polls in key swing states like
What is a precise example of the highly touted Romney business magic that can turn the tide for him? Asked directly to offer an answer last Sunday on "60 Minutes," the
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The High Cost of Mitt Romney's Candor | Politics
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