Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Number one GOP talking point: Say you think Romney can win (say it like you believe it)

Did someone say central casting?
Both amateurs and professionals who write about politics struggle every day with what to write next. I have to say that an article today at the website Politico is both an exercise in the obvious and a little kowtowing to political spin from the right. But material is material.

In a piece with the title "GOP Discovers That Mitt Romney Could Win," Jonathan Martin provides a bunch of comments from high-profile Republicans that, by golly, Mitt Romney could win this thing after all.

They talk about poll numbers within the margin of error, a disappearing fund-raising advantage by the Obama campaign and a still uncertain economy. They cite problems they think Obama is having with his core message that Romney is a bad capitalist. They cite what they take to be recent evidence that Romney is running a more disciplined campaign. They cite the extent to which party rank-and-file are coming to Romney.

In essence, they cite the "big news" that experienced Republican campaigners have come to the realization Mitt Romney is their nominee and it will do no good for them to express any doubt that he could possibly win.

From where I sit, none of the empirically verifiable events that have taken place since Romney became the nominee are a surprise. And none of the pure spin from GOP operatives, who all got the same briefing book, is unexpected.

Now, anyone who has any political experience who thinks he or she can predict electoral results six months out with any degree of certainty is a fool.

Romney has some strengths, certainly. Obama has his, like more paths to 270 electoral votes. So, of course either could win.

The one thing that stood out in the article was the "half in jest" suggestion by some Republicans that "they'd be better off with Romney in a bunker for the duration of the campaign."

The general election campaign has started in earnest. The GOP has stopped attacking itself and is now focusing all its efforts on Obama. And Romney is now able to keep better control of his campaign because the "shooting war" with Obama has not yet started, the "mano a mano" has not yet begun, but it will. When it does, Romney will have to show himself, and if the GOP nomination taught us anything it is that the more people see of Romney, the less they like him. And you can't run for president from a bunker.

Romney was able to beat a bunch of losers to get the nomination. When things get real, I'd still put my money on Barack Obama.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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  • Romney will never be elected!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:50 PM  

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