Mitt Romney's Worst Enemy
After a few shaky weeks, the Romney kibitzers are calling for a big staff shakeup, apparently on the assumption that his footsoldiers have been responsible for the bumps in his campaign trail. Fingered particularly is his longtime
It was he who not unreasonably said the mandate contained in the Obama health care law was a penalty rather than a tax, as the
The political problem here was that this interpretation would put Romney at odds with Republican strategists ready to hammer President Obama as even more of a tax-raiser than they were claiming him to be before the whole dustup over "Obamacare."
That was not the only rap against Bush in the 1992 campaign. He was a reluctant and whining campaigner who had to be egged on by a superior staff of political professionals. He also suffered from having broken his 1988 convention pledge: "Read my lips: no new taxes!" But in the end, it was the focus on the weak economy by Clinton, a superior campaigner, that cost Bush a second term.
Romney and his own staff this year had pretty much been adhering to Carville's slogan and strategy. But that was before the
Instead, the Affordable Care Act's survival, thanks to the temporary desertion of Chief Justice
It brought to mind again his late father, Michigan Gov.
So maybe instead of just shaking up the Mitt Romney campaign in this coda of campaign distress, the slogan instructing his staff should be: "It's the candidate, stupid!"
It's always easy when a political campaign hits a squall to lay the fault on staff work or lack of it. The first sign of a sinking candidacy often is a flurry of staff firings when just as often the problem may well be in the candidate himself.
In 2008, Republican nominee
Then there is the simple matter of personal appeal -- or, as it's called, likeability. No matter how efficient a campaign staff may be, if the candidate lacks a definable, or even indefinable, quality -- be it warmth, gravitas or whatever -- voters will often have trouble seeing him or her as president. Remember
All through this year's presidential primaries, much was said about Romney's inability to stir the multitudes. Some said he was too moderate for an increasingly conservative party, others that he was too bland. But he pressed on until he had the delegates to nominate him.
Yet, for all that, he still seems somewhat a mystery man to many Americans. For all the staff assistance, it's still up to the candidate to close the sale.
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Mitt Romney's Worst Enemy | Politics
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