The conventional wisdom is that the Romney Campaign squandered the opportunity presented by the National Convention by going the anodyne punch-pulling route, not to mention the scheduling error of putting Clint Eastwood in prime time instead of the numerous men and women who took to the podium and told their stories about the Mitt Romney they knew that is quite different from the Mitt Romney the Obama campaign and his fellatists in the establishment media have been trying to build up for public consumption.
For once, I agree with the conventional wisdom.
However, Romney has another another opportunity coming up; the Debates.
The problem is that it is 99% likely that the very same pedestrian and conviction-free campaign consultants that advised him to forgo making a more forceful case for himself at the Convention are the same ones advising him now. Their names might be different, but it is important to understand that these are, for all intents and purposes, the very same people that advised John McCain to suspend his campaign to go vote for TARP, the same people that advised McCain to restrict Sarah Palin to repeating the exact same speech over and over again for weeks and then scheduled her for only two televised interviews with hostile parties, the very same people who advised John McCain to pull his punches at the debates, the same people who thought letting the Democrats entirely off the hook for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and having John McCain blame “Wall Street Greed” for the crash was a good idea. These are the same people, who, in the middle of a campaign, running low on cash, decided it was a good idea to have John McCain cut an ad congratulating Barack Obama on winning the Democratic nomination!
Again, they may not share the same names with Steve Schmidt, Nicolle Wallace, et al. but they come from the same school of thought, share the same mindset, and the same pathological lack of imagination. Worse, the share the same conflicting loyalties – divided between their loyalty to their candidate and their desire to remain members (adjunct only, of course) in good standing of the liberal NYC-DC cocktail circuit. Running the strong campaign that they’ll need to run to defeat Obama – doing nothing more than very clearly pointing out his record of failure – is very likely to result in more than a few cancelled party invitations or for them to stop coming altogether.
So they’re going to advise Romney to pull his punches, to not take every opportunity to exhaustively detail out Obama’s myriad failures, to be as vague as possible about the policies he’ll pursue as President and pepper his answers with vapid phrases like “blame both sides” and “Bipartisanship”. In the stultified thinking that permeates the GOP’s consultant class, this enervating milquetoast approach, despite all evidence to the contrary, “appeals to moderates.”
It is just a happy coincidence that not only is this the limit of their imagination, it is also what will ensure that their cocktail invites start arriving in the mail as soon as the Election is over.
In hindsight, I have come to have some respect for Mark McKinnon for his honesty in jumping ship immediately after Barack Obama finally vanquished Hillary Clinton’s Presidential hopes in 2008. He did more of a favor to John McCain than those who stayed but were not entirely sure they wanted John McCain to win.
We need to see Romney the Businessman, not just at the debates, but from now on going forward, in ads (especially), at rallies and giving interviews on TV. We need to see the sharp eyed investor with a hawk’s eye on the bottomline, giving a brutal rundown of the Obama record, with facts, figures, headlines, charts and graphs showing up on the screen, and then presenting his own plans with specifics and figures, charts and graphs to back them up. And then, of course, making sure he has his surrogates and campaign team ready to tear down the panicked, dishonest and disingenuous “fact-checks” and screeching editorials sure to follow.
Let’s face it; Romney is not the guy you’d like to have a beer with – he doesn’t even drink. Trying to turn him into that sort of guy is a fool’s errand.
All he needs to be is the guy you’d trust to manage your money, run the neighborhood watch or take care of your house while you’re away.
And for that, he needs to ignore his consultants, and start going for the jugular.