Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why Is Romney Even Running?

Two items from today’s edition of the MSNBC News blog First Read caught my attention, and spell trouble for Willard “Mitt” Romney:
Can Romney fix his perception problem? And the perception that Romney is facing right now is that he can’t put away Rick Santorum--despite all the money he has, the Restore Our Future Super PAC (which has spent $30 million in advertisements), his organizational advantage, and all the help he’s receiving from the GOP establishment. As Politico recently wrote, Romney is fighting the “loser” label; if he’s struggling against the under-financed and under-organized Santorum, the thinking goes, how will he fare going toe-to-toe with President Obama and a campaign organization that could be the most sophisticated in history? “Usually, once a politician takes on an aroma of hopelessness he keeps it. Bob Dole in 1996 limped to his nomination with few people expecting he would make a real race of it against Clinton, and he never did.” Yes, in 2008, John McCain lost several primary contests. And so did Obama. But the competition they faced was MUCH stronger than what Romney’s currently facing. As Romney limps toward the finish line, the question becomes: Can he heal, perception-wise, before the general?

Boston, we have a message problem … : Yet Romney might be facing an even bigger problem: What is his campaign about? He says he wants to “restore America’s greatness,” but what does that mean? (Go back to the ‘50s? The ‘60s? The ‘80s? The Bush years?) He says he’ll be able to turn around the economy, but what if it’s already slowly improving as the evidence currently suggests? And the campaign makes it clear that Romney is the inevitable nominee, but what happens if that inevitable nominee loses? Team Romney has had a message problem since this campaign began, and when you make your candidacy about electability and process, you’re going to pay a BIG price for losing to candidates. Why does Romney want to be president, an office he’s been running for the past six years? Has he really answered this basic question?
You can find the whole post here.

READ MORE:Is the South Too Republican for Republicans?,” by Alec MacGillis (The New Republic).

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