Posts Tagged ‘Erik Kleefield’
“Mitt Romney’s campaign has now fired back at John McCain’s recent attacks on the candidate. Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho released this response,” writes Erik Kleefield in a TPM ElectionCentral post (mis-)titled Romney Campaign Hits Back At McCain’s “Flailing Attacks“
Romney flak Gail Gitcho: “Angry attacks from campaigns without any new ideas on how to bring change to Washington aren’t what voters are looking for” … [Romney campaign anger, bitterness, pathology, projection, cynacism, and despair omitted]
Meanwhile Rick Evans of ReliablePolitics asks “[is] John McCain Gaining Ground?” based on hypothetical general election polls that show McCain gaining, and Romney tanking. Conclusion: there is no downside to either being attacked, or attacking, Willard Milton Romney. Why is this case?—Romney’s unprecedentedly high negatives.
We explore the issue of Romney’s negatives elsewhere:
- Romney has the most negative image at this point of any of the major candidates for president, claims Newport of USA Today’s GallupGuru; the Romney campaign’s death-by-internal-memo part (ii)
- Romney’s negative attacks on others and his negatives in the polls–what is the link?
Here is what we concluded then, and what we still hold to now:
Allow us to articulate our argument in more familiar terms. It is common wisdom that a candidate whose negatives are high should not go negative. The negative campaigner may bring down her rival or rivals, but not without bringing herself down as well. Does any remember Dick Gephardt’s bitter attacks on Howard Dean and how they backfired on him? Neither do we. But the same was once said about Gephardt as is now said about Romney by Geraghty and others. Gephardt, however, was at least limited by the poverty of his campaign and Gephardt’s own loyalty to the interests of his party.
Romney has high negatives and has clearly gone negative. He has a far smaller-narrower base of support but far, far more resources than Gephardt ever had. And: Romney has far less of a commitment to the success of the GOP than Gephardt, a loyal soldier to the end, had to the DNC.
So: Imagine a Republican Dick Gephardt, on steroids, angry, alienated, estranged, adrift, and with no larger sense of party loyalty to restrain him, a man surrounded by hirelings, contractors, and highly-paid specialists, as opposed to the usual politicos, interest group players, and party insiders that surround other candidates, i.e. people with larger and longer term interests at stake. Now imagine that this hypothetical Republican Gephardt with nothing to lose but everything to gain has both the will and the resources necessary to slime and vilify whatever candidate or candidates he chooses.
This is Willard Milton Romney.
And this is where we are at this historical moment.
These are interesting times for the GOP … more