urgent speculations about Romney’s motive in delivering The Speech—conclusion: no one gets it—how Romney completely lost control of the message in advance of The Speech (iv)

… “Frankly this type of article–don’t want to “surprise” people– exemplifies my objection to the roll out and giving of The Speech,” writes Jennifer Rubin in an AmSpec blog post titled, mysteriously, Re: Specifically

By giving into the howls of the mob he has unleashed a ridiculous exploration of the details of his religion (which seems bizarre in a presidential race- did I miss this with Joe Lieberman?), assured 24/7 Mormon coverage( which let’s face it will make some uncomfortable) and ultimately will make The Speech, I think, seem either disappointing or like he was “pulling a fast one” when The Speech itself doesn’t march through Mormon theology.

[Romney] had to market it as the Mormon speech people have been demanding (to satisfy some pundit group and frankly to get the attention he wants) but indications are from him and others that it will be a rather banal discussion generically of faith in America.

I find the whole effort odd in the extreme and irrelevant to the real issues which concern people about Romney, –not his “faith” but his lack of political conviction and the sense that he will say virtually anything to get elected. As to the latter, there is, unfortunately, no speech to cure that ailment” … etc.

The paragraphing is ours. We’re a little baffled by “the whole effort” too. Here is one explanation:

“… So let’s get to the heart of this,” writes of Erick of redstate.com in a post titled Allow me to express my cynicism about “The Speech”

Why is Romney doing it? Here is my cynical nutshell opinion: Huckabee talking about faith is working. Romney is incapable of doing it. We saw how he reacted to the Bible question in the YouTube debate. How odd it is that Huckabee is starting to be accused of mixing church and state in a Republican primary. A Republican primary. Good grief. Anyone ever hear of George W. Bush? I do believe he once said his favorite philosopher is one Jesus Christ. You might have heard of him. His birthday is coming up.

Unfortunately for Romney, George Bush’s religion talk worked. And Huckabee’s is too. Look again at the RCP Poll average for Iowa. Notice that precipitous fall in Romney’s support corresponding to the rise in Huckabee’s support? I can’t see it either. Huckabee isn’t taking votes from Romney totally. He’s taking them from everybody and he’s pulling in people who think the rest of them, well, not to repeat myself, but they all suck.

So, the super predictable strategy? Try now to take religion off the table. Romney failed to capture those voters, so now we’re hearing hints of bigotry and suggestions that Huckabee is too much of a Jesus freak for American politics … etc.

Contra Rubin, Erick argues that Romney’s speech issues a clear message in response to obvious stimuli. However: the message—that Romney is a naive and inexperienced campaign ingenue supported by a tight-circle flak-claque of political primitives—is not the message Romney intended.

yours &c.
dr. g.d

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