Sometimes you’re watching a game, and there are professional teams on the field, and the action is a wonder to behold. And there is this team, and they may not be your team, but you are in awe of their control of the ball, and you have to say to yourself, “Wow, how do they do that.”
Your admiration grows as the game progresses, and you are moved by the way they manage the ball, and, even though this is not your team, you wait in anticipation at what they are going to do next.
Then something happens. From all appearances this team still has amazing control, but you don’t see the movement you should be seeing. The movement you have been watching in wonder for some time is less than you have grown to expect. Then sometimes the movement falters, and something dawns on you as you sit watching. This wonderful team is no longer pulling from its reserve, and the truth becomes apparent. There is no depth. You may have seen all you are going to see. It’s at this point the question hits you. “Is this the ball game?”
I have been watching the Romney team since last year, and it was long apparent he was the only candidate the Republican Party could put in the field in any sense of sanity. Save Jon Huntsman, the remainder of the pack would be hard pressed to carry water for a serious campaign. Now it is possible we are seeing that even Mitt Romney cannot build up the momentum required to unseat a popular and capable president. There were warnings early on, and the worry is now beginning to become apparent.
In the beginning all Mitt Romney had to do to get the job was to stand up straight and keep his mouth shut. The remaining Republican candidates one by one talked themselves out of the lead. Whenever Romney did speak, his talk was muted and presidential. He avoided sounding silly. The problem was, Romney maintained this stance by not saying anything of any importance. That was supposed to come later.
It is now later.
Of late Romney has had more to say, unfortunately for his candidacy. On foreign policy he has been quick to respond to movement or non-movement by the real president, but the response was always in a reactive mode. If the president was trying to back Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into a corner, Romney was quick to accuse him of being timid. When the president declined to threaten Iran with military action, Romney accused him of abandoning Israel. The point being, that all this time Mitt Romney was not offering any realistic course of action. The run for the nomination was now over, and the candidate has stopped acting presidential.
More recently Islamic radicals leveraged a toxic, anti-Muslim video into a lethal attack on our embassy in Libya, and Romney exploited our Egyptian embassy’s attempts to diffuse the situation as an example of the administration’s coddling of the Islamists. As an Air Force plane brought home the bodies of our ambassadors, even members of Romney’s own party were urging him to cool it and to get with a positive message. All this good advice may have come too late.
A recent slight shift in the tone of the daily news reflects a growing unease about the Romney candidacy. Here is a bit of that:
Amid rumors of discord, Romney seeks to shift strategy
LOS ANGELES—Amid rumors of staff infighting and a slide in the polls, Mitt Romney is looking to reset his campaign starting with a speech here Monday before Hispanic voters. He’s shaking up his relentless focus on the economy and offering more specifics about a broader range of policies and a clearer argument about why he would be a better president than Barack Obama.
Two senior aides privately dismissed reports of discord over the strategy implemented by Stuart Stevens, the Republican presidential nominee’s chief strategist—insisting his job is not in danger and that internal staff grumbling cited in a Politico report published Sunday wasn’t as dramatic as described.
But looking to regain control of the message, the campaign offered up Ed Gillespie, a senior Romney adviser, who dismissed the idea that Romney is instituting a major change in strategy, arguing instead that Romney is putting forward “a renewed emphasis” on policies he’s previously proposed.
A recent poll gives the president a five-point advantage over Romney. This is not a good place for a challenger to be seven weeks prior to the election. Other developments do not make the scene any better.
Leaked videos show Romney dismissing Obama supporters as entitled ‘victims’
LOS ANGELES — Mitt Romney was dealt a new distraction when a video surfaced Monday that shows him dismissing President Obama’s supporters as “victims” who take no responsibility for their livelihoods and who think they are entitled to government handouts.
In the video, published by Mother Jones magazine, the Republican presidential nominee tells a private audience of campaign donors that the backers will vote for Obama “no matter what” and that he does not “worry about those people.”
Forty years ago, maybe even 32 years ago, this attitude may have swung some weight with the voting republic. Now it only sounds Nixonian or at best Reaganesque. More and more “those people” are people you need to appeal to in order to get yourself elected. These are votes that Mitt Romney is going to need in 49 days.
I have seen people, and I even know some who, when they do not like a candidate, will outdo themselves coming up with bad things to say about the person. He is stupid, he is deceitful, he is dishonest, he is evil, he is criminal. I find this approach does not work the best toward making your argument. It shows the accuser as being partisan and biased with an agenda of his own. Painting yourself this way is not the best approach to selling your point. I prefer to remember Mitt Romney as somebody who aspired to great heights and was almost good enough.