Sunday, February 05, 2012

Another Romney Campaign Fail

Concerning Romney's latest campaign gaffe ("I'm not concerned about the very poor"), many are writing about what he should've said instead, or why he said it at all (dog-whistle code to his wealthy supporters).

To me it's just another rookie-like screw-up. Given Romney has been in campaign mode for many, many years, he should know better than to utter such things, period. For him to claim later that he was taken out of context is exactly the point: a seasoned campaigner knows what not to say specifically because in this day and age of sound bites, a string of 8-10 words will be cut and pasted all over the news, leaving out any extra words that may have changed the inference. It's that simple, a "duh" truism.

But Romney continues to not get it. The no-concern-for-the-poor comment is just the latest. There was also the I-like-firing-people, you-wanna-make-a-$10K-bet? and I-didn't-make-much-in-speaking-fees doozies, the latter two further crystalizing how out of touch he is with the average American. Does the average American make a friendly bet for $10 grand? Would the average American regard almost $400,000 paid in speaking fees as not that much money?

It's clear the man is politically tone deaf, and more so it appears he can't help himself, that it's serial in nature. How do you explain the recent repeated offenses after running for office so many times? His wealth and elitism is deeply ingrained within his DNA, to the point where no matter how often his handlers attempt to coach him and purge these tendencies, they will always surface, like pea soup coming to a boil.

Romney is safe as long as he remembers to stick to talking points and preconceived tag lines. But once he ventures off script and attempts to be genuine with his answers, to actually speak in what are real terms for him, that's when he gets in trouble. Again, it's not just that he then says things that further confirm his stereotype, but more so that he says things that are simply ill-advised and stupid with regards to smart campaigning. You just don't say these four words: "I like firing people."

In many ways, it's equivalent to John Kerry's I-voted-for-it-before-I-voted-against-it debacle. Those of us who heard it in full context know what he actually meant, but it didn't matter. I recall all to well hearing Kerry say those words live at the time and wincing, realizing it was likely his Dukakis-army-tank or Dean-scream moment. I think it was a huge fail.

But Kerry really only had this one, albeit a big one. In contrast, Romney seems to churn out these misspeaks or "fails" about once a week.

The Obama people must be licking their chops. After all, despite Republicans labeling him the "Teleprompter President," Obama is actually quite good off-script. He can be very effective, actually reaching and impacting his audience, and doing so with facts and few if any unfortunate gaffes. I would very much like my odds in this regard versus Romney. After all, and as we've seen already, Mitt can't always be pre-programmed and there will be plenty of opportunities before November for him to say something that could sink his candidacy. It's just a matter of time....

1 comment:

Nonny Mouse said...

Yup - I'm looking forward to when the REAL debates begin, and Obama mops the floor with this preppy gonzo...