Friday, September 28, 2012

"It's Just Mitt" by Politico

POLITICO has an article by Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin & Jim VandeHei that appears reasonably fair and balanced in its analysis:
It isn’t the chair or the ho-hum convention. Or the leaked video. Or Stuart Stevens. Or the improving economy. Or media bias. Or distorted polls. Or the message. Or Mormonism. It’s Mitt. With Republicans everywhere wondering what has happened to the Mitt Romney campaign, people who know the candidate personally and professionally offer a simple explanation: It’s the candidate himself. Slowly and reluctantly, Republicans who love and work for Romney are concluding that for all his gifts as a leader, businessman and role model, he’s just not a good political candidate in this era. It kills his admirers to say it because they know him to be a far more generous and approachable man than people realize — far from the caricature of him being awkward or distant — and they feel certain he would be a very good president. “Lousy candidate; highly qualified to be president,” said a top Romney official. “The candidate suit fits him unnaturally. He is naturally an executive.” Romney himself has been a tough self-critic, telling “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley he has only himself to blame for missteps such as the secret video of him writing off 47 percent of Americans as ungovernable and out of reach to him politically. “[T]hat’s not the campaign. That was me, right?” He made a similar remark when questions were raised about his campaign during the primaries, telling reporters: “The candidate sometimes makes some mistakes, and so I’m trying to do better and work harder.” That comment captures precisely why his closest confidants think he is a much better, bigger and more qualified man than often comes through on the trail. He treats his staff with respect, works hard on his weaknesses and does all of it because he possesses supreme confidence in his capacity to lead effectively. “He’s a great leader, but he’s not a great politician,” said a top member of Romney’s organization. “As much as we complain about politicians, we like a good politician. He doesn’t have the hand-on-the-shoulder thing. He’s not quick-witted. He’s an analytical, data-driven businessperson.” And that’s the problem: His résumé and his personal style seem ill-suited for the moment. He’s a son of privilege who made hundreds of millions in private equity who is running in the first election since the 2008 economic meltdown — a meltdown many blame on rich, Wall Street tycoons. And he’s a socially stiff relic of a pre-ironic America, who struggles with improvisation and personal connections when the constant lens of the Web demands both. Others have overcome innate political limitations on the way to the White House, including George H.W. Bush and Richard Nixon. But for Romney to do so, his advisers know they have 40 days to make his fundamental strength — a track record of high professional achievement — erase concerns about his weaknesses as a political performer.
Of course, the POLITICO piece barely mentions the specimen of human garbage and lies that Mitt must run again, except to say the First Clown is a far more approachable and personable campaigner----if you're an ignorant POS like the average Dimmo-rat.
The weaknesses are bad enough. But it’s worse for Romney: These flaws have left him struggling to defend himself against and rebut the relentless Obama campaign attack — an attack designed to overcome the weaknesses in the incumbent’s own record by rendering his opponent an unacceptable alternative.
While the First A-Hole goes to New York to a fundraiser by Jay-Z and Beyonce & refuses to meet with Netanyahu [or any other world leaders for that matter] at the UNGA, Mitt fumbles and flails as his own stainless steel image as a CEO who just can't relate to the common man makes him wrong-footed in a number of common-touch contexts.
[I]t’s important to step back and consider the broad-brush images that voters who aren’t following the race that closely are receiving courtesy of President Barack Obama’s assault and Romney’s own missteps. This shows up every time pollsters press respondents on their concerns with Romney: “too rich for too long” or “too rich to care” come up repeatedly. This stuff isn’t complicated, said one former Republican governor. “You can be rich and win Ohio, but you can’t be rich and out of touch and win Ohio,” said the governor.
His plutocrat ways are suited in a boardroom with other CEOs or prospective clients, but his genius as a businessman doesn't endear him to the man in the street.
[M]any of the folks who are despairing about Romney would actually love what he would do in office. Romney’s metric-obsessed transition team is fleshing out a “200-day plan” (100 days wasn’t enough time to pass a bunch of big bills) aimed at goosing the recovery and creating jobs by bringing corporate cash off the sidelines in the United States and attracting investment from abroad. The weapons would include tax and regulatory policy and what one aide called a “very aggressive” series of executive orders, many already on the drawing board. Two of Romney’s friends told POLITICO he would be eager to sign a bipartisan grand bargain in the first four months in office to calm markets and ease partisan tensions. Because of Obama’s own limitations, Republicans think Romney can overcome his — though they are clear-eyed that things look bleak in the swing states today and much worse than they did three short weeks ago. “These states seem to all be moving in the same direction, and they’re all states we need to win,” said one of Washington’s best-connected Republicans. “This could get away from us in a hurry.”
The list of Mitt's inability to project his real talents and genuine humanity----much more real than the phony former"community organizer" spouting marxist happy horsesh*t to stupid half-wits who want to get into his "stash"----hurts him because the First Phony has a crew of mafiosi criminals directing his campaign from Chicago. They were smart enough to ditch the loathsome Debbie Blabbermouth-Shulz, now they want the country to ditch Mitt. In this effort, they are being subtlety helped by...., Mitt..!
POLITICO has talked to dozens of Republicans about this topic, many working on the campaign or raising massive amounts of money to support it. Few would talk on the record to discuss their candid appraisals of Romney. “You have to know the room, and he doesn’t know the room,” said a top Republican in D.C. who has donated to Romney and wants him to win. “He’s missing the normal-guy gene.” That’s self-evident: Just look at his painful references to athletics as “sport,” or his call Tuesday for experienced referees to return to “the NFL playing fields.” It’s just not how factory workers in Toledo, Ohio, talk. Or bet. In a preview of the presidential debates in the September issue of The Atlantic, James Fallows described why Romney’s offer of a $10,000 bet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry reinforced the worst caricature of him. “If Romney had said ‘a million bucks,’” Fallows explained, “it would obviously have been hyperbolic; if he had said ‘a hundred bucks,’ it would have been a serious sum but comprehensible. Romney had instinctively found exactly the wrong number.”
The writers go on to extol Mitt in almost extravagant terms as being the perfect man to heal this country's bleeding economic sores and bind up its wounds, but utterly unable to even get to third base on relating to the man on the street, and more importantly, the woman who falls for the BS and blandishments of Barry Soetero as if she has smoked too much "choom"...
Romney’s inherent challenge isn’t merely that he can’t be one of the guys. Voters seem hungry for raw competence. They will suffer a bad or tough bedside manner if they trust Romney as a capable leader who can make things better. But Romney’s friends say he lacks a gut instinct for how audiences will hear what he says. So much of his life has been spent talking to small slices of Americana — CEOs, investors, fellow Mormons.
The writers rub in the superficiality and brain-death of the average voter vis-a-vis getting past the ridiculous free cell phones and other gimmicks of the First Fraud:
Campaign officials, in the end, think likability is the least of his issues. The much bigger one is this sense that Romney is not comfortable in his skin, at least the conservative, no-compromise skin he had to put on to win the nomination. His past willingness to change or shade his views for apparent political advantage resulted, over time, in one of his biggest political vulnerabilities. One close confidant said Romney sees the process like buying a company from a reluctant seller: Just do and say what you need to do to get the deal done, and then when it’s done, do what you know actually needs to be done to make the company a success. It is hard to overestimate how much confidence Romney and many around him have that he can lead once he has the power to lead. This do-and-say-what-it-takes tendency is reflected in his constantly changing message. His campaign was premised on a disciplined focus on jobs. But he has rarely stuck to it, to the dismay of advisers who have urged a relentless focus on exactly what he would do to create jobs, like Rick Santorum did during the primaries with his plan to revive U.S. factories.
After the writers go into detail on the good deeds and convention film that would give him a humanity that he refuses to allow in campaign ads, they give damning quotes from other GOP candidates and ex-candidates.
Newt Gingrich, in an interview with POLITICO, said that if Romney had stuck to big, clear ideas, the packaging wouldn’t be as much of an issue. “Gov. Romney’s challenge in the very first debate is to communicate decisively what he would do,” Gingrich said. “But I do think there’s this permanent consultant tendency to be clever and to have gimmicks, and they don’t work. … So people spend lots of time on biography and lots of time trying to make somebody acceptable. What makes somebody acceptable is the belief that they will improve your life. … I think they need a much more policy-oriented campaign. … Let’s make his policies necessary, and then he becomes acceptable, and not worry too much about him personally.”
Rare is the moment where Romney sings the praises of the working stiff, the cop on the beat, the waitress pulling a double shift. In military terms, he seems to be under the impression that the American electorate is filled with colonels, not privates and corporals. Mike Huckabee famously suggested to Jay Leno that Romney reminds people of “the guy who laid you off.” But talk to the same friends who cringe at some of these public moments and they describe a man who goes out of his way to help friends or neighbors or people in need brought to his attention by his church. The campaign’s official blog picked up a column highlighting the good deeds of Romney that he never discusses, including how he flew himself and Bain employees to New York in 1984 to lead the search for a missing girl — a search that ultimately found her.But it’s Romney who has swatted away ideas he should offer a fuller view of his life.
Politics is a "necessary evil" in Mitt's mind, say the authors...
Romney refers frequently and unabashedly to his late father, George, a former Michigan governor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development who lost the Republican presidential nomination to Nixon in 1968. In interviews, Romney even throws in verbatim recitations of his dad’s business precepts. The tributes are touching but make friends wonder how much of the son’s quest is based on family honor or expectations, rather than the internal fire that animates most winning politicians. Most of his advisers say this just isn’t so. They contend he wants it for all the right reasons: He believes, based on his work at Bain, the Olympics and as governor, that he can honestly do the right thing for the right reasons if he just finds a way to navigate the necessary evils of politics and conservative litmus tests to get there.
I myself hope that Mitt can get to the Oval Office, if not by his personality, then in order to eradicate the bad works of his predecessor...

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