Archive for February 8th, 2012 | Daily archive page

Romney’s Failing Strategy of Attack

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Where Will He Point Now?

For quite some time, Mitt Romney’s strategy has been to attack his opponents through surrogates, media shills, and advertising, but with few exceptions, while he has made a case against his opponents, sometimes less than honestly, he has failed to make a case for his own candidacy.  Conservative voters are not herded by fear in most instances, and while you can occasionally turn them off from supporting a candidate if you can create enough of a negative buzz, what will not usually happen in such cases is to drive them into your own arms.  This tactic works well when it’s a two-candidate primary, particularly with a mind-numbed lefty electorate, but in a four-way race with conservative voters, what can happen is what we have seen in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri: Mitt Romney has so thoroughly bashed Gingrich that he succeeded only in driving voters in those states to somebody else.  Gingrich lost.  Romney lost.  Santorum won.

I think part of this grows out of Romney’s reliance on tactics that might have been valid in a more liberal state like the one he governed, where he could not gain victory without at least enticing some of a liberal mindset.  In Massachusetts, there are certainly Republicans, but the conservative wing of the party is small and mostly ineffective.  On a national scale, this is not true, and Romney will not be able to beat one conservative down without another rising in his place.  Romney’s strategy may still get him the nomination by slow, steady attrition, but that will not win the general election in November when he will need the entirety of the nation’s conservative base out pulling his wagon if he is to have any hope of overcoming Obama.  You cannot repeatedly offend conservatives and expect them to energize on your behalf, and this is what McCain had done over many years, and his best move was to nominate Sarah Palin, which was almost enough to overcome the ineptitude of his own campaign.

Mitt Romney is not likely to get such a bump from any of those he might choose to be his running mate.  He may be stuck on a flat-line of a grudging support from some conservatives, while a fair number simply turn away in disgust.  I think the latter has already begun, and the fact that in Colorado’s loss to Santorum, where in 2008, he won by a huge margin, what you’re seeing is the beginnings of the tell-tale signs of this collapse in his support.  His lack of a clear message and a positive campaign don’t remind people of Reagan, and it doesn’t set him much apart from liberals.  To many conservative voters, it appears as though Romney is simply playing the slash-and-burn politics of the left, and most conservatives don’t really want any part of that.

Mitt Romney started this campaign season with every advantage: High name recognition, good financing, well-oiled organization, and the happy support of the establishment wing of the GOP.  Now his name recognition no longer matters so much, and it’s clear that he can be beaten even when he spends overwhelming sums of money, and the establishment is not so happy this morning as they view what could be the reason to yank the rug from beneath Romney, and either try to buy influence with one of the others, or simply bring in a ringer.  Just looking at the tone on FoxNews last night and this morning, it’s like people at a funeral trying to convince themselves that it’s really a birthday party.

Romney’s arguments about electability and consistency seem now to fade, as the electorate realizes that all of this “inevitability” talk had been the fanciful expressions of one who had been a legend in his own mind.  Romney’s not invincible, and hasn’t been, but the GOP establishment wanted you to believe this so they could put their guy out front.  Now that Romney’s been taken down a few pegs, it remains to be seen whether he will continue his strategy of slash-and-burn against his opponents, or instead re-engineer his campaign to accentuate his positives.  If I were a betting man, I’d wager on the former, if only because there’s so damnably little of the latter.

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Mr. L Strikes Again

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Mr. L’s Tavern continues to make entertaining and informative Video Blogs, and this time, he takes on the story I covered yesterday on the hit-piece on Sarah Palin by one of Glenn Beck’s writers, Eddie Scarry, on The Blaze site as well as the subsequent attack on Stacy Drake.  As always, Mr. L covers a variety of sub-topics, and takes on the ridiculous reporting by Scarry.  More, he takes on other attackers of Sarah Palin.  Watch the latest, and remember, he can be a bit rough:

Romney Lies – Caught on Video

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Here’s another web ad by somebody who truly dislikes Mitt Romney.  It’s a scathing hit-piece on Romney’s flip-floppery and the author promises more in the series. It’s a little lengthy, but the video focuses on economics, taxes, and his record as Governor of Massachusetts, which is the correct place to begin. This video makes the case strongly for why Mitt Romney simply isn’t conservative enough to lead the United States out of its current troubles.

 

It’s Wednesday, Romney Lost Tuesday, Santorum Is “Target”

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Plenty to Smile About

You can bet in the Romney war-room, they’re furious.  They have spent the entire period since South Carolina pounding Gingrich with millions of dollars in negative advertising, and while they did this, Rick Santorum crept quietly past Team Mitt, and delivered him a stunning blow in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri.  While it is true that these contests won’t award any delegates, it’s pretty clear that Tuesday’s Santorum Romp put the lie to this whole “inevitable Mitt” business.  I don’t think the establishment is very happy, as I think I saw a quick shot of Rove beating his head on his whiteboard as FoxNews cut to a commercial break. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part, but one thing is sure: A certain very thin blond is at this very moment clacking out a hit-piece as long as her arm, aimed at Rick Santorum.  I congratulate Senator Santorum, but I also urge him to duck, because the fire he will now draw from the Romney camp will be withering.

The problem Romney faces is the same thing that’s beset him since day one on this campaign: He is in no way a conservative. He’s not even really a free-marketeer.  He can’t honestly claim to be a cultural conservative, given his flips and flops on cultural issues, but his biggest flop of all, and the one that damns him with conservative voters is Romneycare.  I have some advice for Mitt Romney, because we conservatives are forgiving sorts:  Go run for re-election in Massachusetts and lead the repeal of Romneycare, and we’ll begin to believe you when you say you’re a conservative.  Then we will know you had been serious.  Check back with us in 2020.  This is lkely to be the only sort of rehabilitation conservatives will accept.

Gingrich is another matter, because I expect that between Newt and Rick, you could at least expect an honest if somewhat scrappy debate, but Romney’s reliance on Alinskyite tactics means he’s merely a pollutant in this race.  Romney really adds nothing but negatives, from one end to the other, and there’s no doubt but that we should be looking to see more of the same from Mitt Romney.  He will go negative with piles of cash in an all-out assault on Rick Santorum as we sprint toward Super Tuesday that will now be less super as Texas will no longer be in play on that date.

Santorum should continue to focus on his own ideas, but also where Romney is concerned, he should focus all his attention on the things Romney did as governor.  That’s a virtual wrecking yard of bad ideas, liberal policies, and a non-stop litany of warmed-over statism.  If I were Santorum, I would also continue to drive home the point that money plus moderate Republican does not equal victory over Obama in November, and no amount of negative advertising by Romney can possibly change that fact.  Conservatives might well be able to get enthusiastic about Rick Santorum, or even Newt Gingrich, but Mitt Romney will not mobilize the base, and this is the fact of which Santorum should relentlessly remind voters.

Is Santorum perfect?  Nobody is.  The fact remains, however, that he is substantially more conservative than Mitt Romney, which isn’t saying much by itself, but the fact is that now Santorum can expect to be hit on the matter of earmarks, as Romney scrambles to position himself to the right of Santorum on that issue.  Rather than fall for that nonsense, I hope Santorum will instead focus on Romneycare, and what Romney inflicted on the people of Massachusetts, particularly on the matter of the lack of conscience opt-outs for religious institutions.  He should focus on this, and hang onto it like a dog with a bone, and not be diverted from it as the media will attempt to do.

The guns will be blazing before the sun fully rises today, Wednesday, but Rick Santorum shouldn’t permit that to change his messaging, and he should focus on the facts: Romney can’t beat Obama.  Romney is a liberal.  The fact that Santorum is significantly more conservative than Romney should be the remainder of his case, and he should speak to the concrete things he would do in a Santorum administration to chase down the repeal of Obamacare, lock, stock, and barrel, and otherwise reverse the course of the nation.  I wish Santorum well, because I think he’s overcome a big hump in the false argument about his electability, and this is something Romney simply hasn’t yet proven. That said, the negative ads will be forthcoming soon, and Santorum should be prepared to bear up graciously under it while responding through his campaign, rather than personally.