Skip to comments.Romney tries to prove he can win without actually being wanted (waging war of attrition)
Posted on 11/21/2011 3:03:39 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
From the W moment he launched his presidential campaign on a windy New Hampshire morning in June, Willard Mitt Romney has been the acknowledged front-runner in the Republican race.
He has raised more money, earned more support from his party's establishment, hired more paid staff and secured more endorsements than any of the seven other "major" GOP candidates.
There is but one nagging thing keeping Romney from being dubbed the "inevitable" GOP nominee in 2012 - a solid 75 per cent of the voters in his party simply cannot stand the guy.
"He is cold gravy," said Stephen Schneck, a political scientist at Catholic University of America. "He has gone through the process once and generated some excitement, but now the excitement is gone."
Schneck made that observation on June 2, the day Romney formally announced his candidacy.
The former Massachusetts governor's problem is not that the analysis was accurate then, but that it's still accurate now, just six weeks out from the Iowa caucuses.
In the last 10 national polls taken of GOP voters, Romney has nudged above 25 per cent only once - underscoring his continuing lack of upside potential.
In any other year, in any other campaign, a candidate so persistently unappealing to his party's base would be marked for defeat.
But this isn't any other year, and Romney has had the good fortune of being measured against the likes of Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain - presidential campaign amateurs all.
The challenge facing Romney is how to win without actually being wanted.
At this point, it is clear there may never be a Romney surge, at least not in the same way there was a Perry, Cain and Bachmann surge.
He has not earned the trust of Republican social conservatives, who view his Mormon faith with skepticism and tagged him as a flip flopper years ago for changing his views on abortion and gay rights.
Even on big economic issues like deficit reduction and taxes, Romney is seen as the most slippery of GOP candidates, the one lacking an ideological core.
The lone issue where Romney has actually been resolute - in his defence of his individual health-care mandate in Massachusetts - is the one that most offends Tea Party sensibilities.
"I believe we did the right thing for our state at the time," Romney says.
Admirable? Sure. But it's also a sign Romney has mostly given up trying to win over the Republican right.
While he recently opened a campaign office in Iowa - where conservatives hold sway over moderates in the state's presidential caucuses - Romney skipped a weekend all-candidates forum hosted by a family-values group.
Romney's path to the GOP nomination depends on him prevailing in a war of attrition with his rivals.
First, the former governor is counting on winning the Jan. 10 primaries in New Hampshire, where he is well known and most polls show he has a double-digit lead.
He hopes to emerge from the Jan. 21 primary in South Carolina, another social conservative hotbed, strong enough to capture other early-voting states like Florida and Michigan, where he has shown strength.
After that, Romney is betting the GOP field is winnowed down enough that he can outmuscle his remaining opponents with a superior organization and fatter bank account.
It's a smart strategy, but not a foolproof one.
For one thing, the sudden rise of Newt Gingrich - more serious on policy than pretenders like Cain and Perry - is problematic.
A shock poll last week by Magellan Strategies, a Republican firm, showed Gingrich in a statistical tie with Romney in New Hampshire. The poll may be an outlier, but it reinforced Republicans doubts about Romney.
Even so, despite Romney's limited upside potential among Republicans, polls also consistently show he is the most likely candidate to make Barack Obama a one term president.
That prospect alone is enough for some staunch conservatives who - all things being equal - would normally balk at having Romney as their nominee.
"Instead of sitting on our thumbs, wishing Ronald Reagan were around, or chasing the latest mechanical rabbit flashed by the media, conservatives ought to start rallying around Romney as the only Republican who has a shot at beating Obama," columnist Ann Coulter wrote last week.
"It's fun to be a purist, but let's put that on hold until Obama and his abominable health-care plan are gone, please."
That's -- I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals. [video clip] -- Mitt Romney, GOP presidential debate - October 18, 2011 - Las Vegas, NV
Lisas the coach and Ginas the quarterback in the work of rolling out new clean air regulations, said Daniel Weiss, an energy and climate policy expert at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to the Obama administration. Shes running the plays, improvising on the line.
Another Romney environmental adviser in the effort to regulate greenhouse gases is now Obamas Director of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren. Dr. Holdren has some exotic views: ..
Mitt Romney's environmental coal policies--Obama's environmental coal policies.
Carbon Copies [60 second video campaign ad]
Romneys Advisers Met With Obama to Help Craft Obamacare Three of Mitt Romneys advisers went to the White House at least a dozen times in 2009 to consult on the former Massachusetts governors health care plan that President Obama used as a model for his initiative -- now a federal law that all the Republican presidential candidates want to repeal.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday he was "not in a position to comment on specific meetings." But in a remark that won't help Romney in his pursuit for the 2012 Republican nomination, Earnest repeated that Obama took cues from the Massachusetts legislation.
"You've certainly heard the president himself say that there were a number of very good ideas included in the health care plan that then-Gov. Romney put in place in Massachusetts that were incorporated into the Affordable Care Act and so its clear that these are some ideas that we were interested in incorporating and we did incorporate.
"But in terms of individual meetings and who participated and what the goal of them was, I dont have that information, he said.
... mostly because they know that no one else does.
No - we won’t have him - I don’t care if he can win the office of dogcatcher.
I’d rather have four more years of Obama than see Slick Willard anywhere near the White House! He’s not to be trusted!
Yup... and clueless Republicans who back him ignore his liberal record! He ain’t one of us and will never be!
Gallup: Romney, Gingrich Now Top Choices for GOP Nomination......."With the first official nominating contest, the Iowa caucuses, now just six weeks away, there is no clear national front-runner for the Republican nomination."...
Mittens’ only hope is the rest of the field washes up. He can’t win over the Right but he can hope it will defeat itself.
I think it's embarrassing the way Republicans keep playing musical chairs with the candidates. We look like a bunch of schizophrenic nuts. I agree with Ann Coulter.
“Id rather have four more years of Obama than see Slick Willard anywhere near the White House!”
Be careful what you wish for.
Well... its not going to be Mittens.
If you like him, don’t post on FR. People just can’t stand the guy!
I’ll accept that to keep a RINO out of the White House. The Republican Party can nominate a conservative. Slick Willard doesn’t excite any one. He can’t lead the party. And a guy with 25% support in the party is not someone I would describe as being “electable.”
FU mitt romney... you RAT bastard.
I have confidence in the process. We truly vet our candidates and they will stand up under scrutiny.
It may lead to conflicting thoughts and feel drawn out and damaging, but I don't think so. Once we get past this, we will have a solid, vetted candidate and most of the ammo the socialist bastards will have already been deflected.
As for Mitt(care)...
Notice how Romney has managed to avoid many of the “debates” or even appearing in public at all. The “debates” may have been a waste of time, since nothing substantial was generally discussed (and what can you say in 30 seconds anyway?), but they gave people at least a view of the candidates.
Romney has carefully avoided being seen very much, because he and his handlers know that he’s not going to sell in a free market, so to speak.
The fight is for congress. A solidly right or center right congress can still save the republic so long as Obama is not the president. This sucks.
IF you'd rather NOT be pinged FReepmail me.
IF you'd like to be added FReepmail me. Thanks.
This is just how Rick Perry is. After Hurricane Ike devastated my community, he came here to survey the damage. He did not just walk through here surrounded by security and news cameras and then make a speech. That's not Perry. He showed up in jeans and a work shirt, no cameras, no press conference, and he walked among all of us who had been hit. A hug, a pat on the shoulder, a listening ear, and an encouraging word. He saw to it that emergency shelters were being set up and food and water were available to everyone. When Obama/FEMA refused to help us, Governor Perry set up state funding to help us rebuild our homes and our lives. My home is at 'ground zero' where Ike came ashore. We all took tremendous damage. FEMA sent me a check two months later for $600 dollars. Governor Perry set up the Recovery Fund to help us all rebuild. That is what a true leader and a true Christian does. That's my Governor! I can't wait to see America under the caring wing of Rick Perry.
CW - Yeoman’s effort on this post. Thank you and I salute you.
Theres an old story about a company that was going to put out a new line of dog food. They got experts to come up with a formula that was nutritionally excellent. They arranged for shelf space in major retail chains, hired the best ad agency to design packaging and advertizements, and the focus groups all said they would buy it. They put it out, and initally sales were good, but quickly dropped off. They hired a research company to find out why. A few days later, the researchers met with the CEO who told them, Cut to the chase, whats the problem?.
Well, its pretty simple. The dogs wont eat it.
Sorry Myth, the dogs wont eat it.
Although that may be part of it, his campaign has been the classic Rose Garden method. He’s stood above the fray, using the debates to look Presidential and focused. No attack ads, no gaffes, no flubs. It’s textbook.
His “25%” number has also been impressive and intriguing. I’ve seen commentary that people think it is his ceiling. I think that’s a misread. “25%” is his FLOOR. That’s the group that’s sticking with him no matter what the flavor of the week is.
Let’s hope we can get behind one conservative before SC. Otherwise Romney is going to run away with it.
That 25% represents the “moderate” wing of the Republican party. Not just the “county club” elites, but a fair percentage of main street Republicans, who want lower taxes, strong nationl defense, and are scared by the left-sing crazies in the Democrat party, but also don’t want someone they view as a “right-wing extremist”. People around here would call them RINOs. I call them Rotary Club Republicans.
[start rallying around Romney as the only Republican who has a shot at beating Obama]
Yep, Saundra the Mormon uber alles approach. I will never rally around Mitt, I will actively oppose him even if he is elected.
But the GOP establishment expects we'll get hungry enough to choke it down.
That’s true, but it’s odd that other Republicans haven’t called him on this technique (being the “invisible candidate”), except of course that GOP Central has made up its mind that he’s their boy.
The others are just entertainment.
Sadly, outside of GOP Central, we seem to have offered mostly candidates who really are just entertainment, since people seem to be looking for cute personalities who say the right buzz words rather than somebody with ideas, knowledge and a track record that we can evaluate. I don’t care if candidates can burst into tears while discussing themselves (Bill Clinton was pretty good with the tear machine, too), but unfortunately it seems that the rest of the voters find that just too charming for words and somehow consider it proof that the weeper would make a good president.
This could be the year that the republicans scramble to scrap the GOP nomination process for something different. (After the fact, unfortunately)..
If you believe in polls, Ron Paul could easily win Iowa, Romney wins New Hampshire, and there goes any shot for Perry, Cain, or Gingrich. Yes it is early, but Paul's numbers are moving up and up. What the hell is wrong with us?
The race is now between the two most logical candidates for the Republican nomination—Gingrich and Romney. Gingrich is the experienced politician with vision and street smarts to take Obama down. Romney is a smart guy, a good manager, and he has the money to take on Obama. The others just don’t count. Cain, Bachmann, Perry, Santorum—they’re all done. They should drop out so that Republicans can focus on the two finalists. We need a clear winner soon so we are united going into next summer. Obama has to be defeated. One of these two guys can do it. Neither of them is perfect but they’re far better than the incompetent fraud who’s now occupying the White House.
Romney has avoided many of the debates??? What planet have you been living on?? He’s been in all of them and he’s kept his cool and his focus in every one. I’m no fan of Romney, but let’s stick to the facts here. As far as the most recent thing in Iowa? That tearjerk soap opera with everyone blubbering and feeling sorry for themselves? He was smart to pass it up. Isn’t it bad enough that Boehner is always weeping? Do we have to have the future president crying buckets, too? They ought to be crying about the condition of the country. Disgusting!
Romney has avoided some of the multi-candidate events and manages to stay out of the public eye most of the time. He keeps his cool at the “debates” because he gets softball questions, more time than the other candidates so he can blather in generalities at great length (and this was actually proved by an independent analysis of the time each candidate was given over the course of the debates), and makes no gaffes because he says absolutely nothing of substance.
I agree about these stupid publicity events the candidates are fond of doing, however; Bill Clinton could turn on the tear machine with the best of them, but that didn’t make him a moral person. Proclaiming that Herman Cain burst into tears and therefore he’s qualified to be president is ridiculous.
But letting Romney cruise by, unconfronted by anyone and playing on what is definitely not a level playing field (it’s all slanted to his advantage), sure doesn’t give any indication of his qualifications, either. He actually does have a track record, and it’s a bad one, but nobody in the press or anywhere else confronts him on it.
The “inside Paul” talk is that this is his LAST shot. He’s 75. All the Paul guys that have supported him are spreading out across the country (especially colleges) canvassing, hitting up straw polls, working the internet, handing out flyers. He’s getting lots of cash as well.
This is their last hurrah. Paul may actually win Iowa by a couple of points. If so, all bets are off.