Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mitt Romney... what the hell?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I won two presidential elections. Well, okay, maybe one. Hehe. So, uh, how's it goin' with you?

So just how badly are things going for Romney? His favorability rating is now lower than George W. Bush's. As Dan Amira writes at New York (in a post from which the above photo is taken -- the last time they were photographed together, over four years ago):

In what seems like an ominous sign of just how bad things have gotten for Mitt Romney, a Bloomberg News poll shows that he's actually less popular now than George W. Bush. This is the same George W. Bush, you may recall, who was a no-show at the GOP convention, hasn't made single appearance on the campaign trail, and announced his endorsement of Romney through a pair of closing elevator doors — all to prevent his supposed toxicity from rubbing off on the GOP nominee. It's like avoiding garlic because you don't want your breath to smell, only to discover that your breath naturally smells like wet dog.

To be fair to Bush, though, his favorability has risen significantly since he left the presidency, mainly because... well, because he's receded almost entirely from the spotlight, and because it's better not to be a politician if what you're looking for is popularity.

Still... lower than Dubya? And even then, how many of those 43 percent actually like him? Isn't it just that he's the Republican candidate for president and that partisan Republicans are saying they like him simply because he isn't Obama? What his real favorability rating? 25 percent? Is even that too high?

What's telling is that Republicans are already doing the "isn't wasn't me" routine, seeking to point the blame elsewhere, anywhere and everywhere else, for the fact that Romney is their candidate -- and a lousy candidate at that, the worst, I wrote a couple of days ago, since Alf Landon in '36. And as Jon Chait notes, no one really wanted him to win:

So, anyway, whose idea was it to nominate Romney? The basic answer is: nobody's. It's true that Romney managed to persuade many conservative activists to support him during, and in the immediate aftermath of, his 2008 campaign. But by 2010, conservatives had moved farther right and left Romney behind. It's not as if the Establishment were pining away for him, either. Most mainstream Republicans spent the cycle pining away for another candidate to jump into the race.

The real split during the primary occurred between conservatives who reluctantly fell behind Romney because they had no alternative (which is to say, the alternatives were such characters as Michele Bachmann, comatose Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum) and those who were willing to support one or all of those characters rather than Romney. Nobody, except Jennifer Rubin and Matt Drudge, actually displayed any real enthusiasm for the man. He won by default.

And so here he is, spinning his wheels on the campaign trail, showing signs of desperation, falling in the polls, looking utterly spent, and sporting a lower-than-Bush favorability rating. 

Needless to say, things aren't going well and aren't looking good. And even though his party has gone completely crazy, if Mitt himself wants to pin some blame, he need only look in the mirror.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home