Romney reinvents himself anew for super-duper apocalypse Tuesday—no longer exurban office-park pragmatist “Washington is broken” outsider, Romney now casts himself as only true-authentic conservative

“Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney began making a multimillion-dollar purchase of television ads Thursday in a late push to best the GOP presidential front-runner John McCain in the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday contests,” writes someone—we know not who—for the Campaign Notebook in a blog burst titled Romney shells out millions for TV ads

From an earlier post we review Romney’s earlier metamorphoses:

(1) As Romney-apologists tell the story, Romney wanted to run as a competent technocrat, an outsider with the business experience and native genius necessary to “fix Washington.” Only Romney could never stay on message. So what the campaign emitted was unintelligible noise.

In the opinion of observers Romney had tried early on to position himself as a social conservative, only this ridiculously revisionist line never withstood any encounter with the facts of Romney’s record. Romney responded by tacking ever further to the right.

Romney outflanks himself yet again!–poll indicates Romney’s pull to the right alienates independents, centrists, and moderates

(2) After Iowa returned its decision for Gov. Mike Huckabee, Romney suddenly transformed into the “change” candidate.

(3) After New Hampshire returned its decision for Sen. John McCain, Romney transforms himself yet again. Romney abandons his social and economic conservative line altogether. Suddenly Romney wants to nationalize an ailing industry, only in the post-industrial, post-progressive era this assumes the form of a Washington-Detroit “partnership” combined with massive subsidies.

For more on this sad theme, also see:

That didn’t take long!—Romney drops all pretense of any commitment to conservative values or principles—now argues that “it‘s time for Washington — Republican and Democrat — to have a leader who will fight to make sure we resolve the issues rather than continuously look for partisan opportunity for score-settling” etc.

Now, back to the Campaign Notebook:

[…] Sources familiar with Romney’s plans said the ad buy would exceed $1 million in California alone, enough to give Romney a presence in much of the state. Romney also was expected to spread some money around to some of the other 21 states holding primaries or caucuses Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s possible to flood the airwaves in 22 states,” Romney said, but he nevertheless authorized “a seven-figure — I won’t give you the exact number — but a seven-figure advertising buy for our campaign.”

After a series of single-state contests in which voters could shake candidates’ hands, the Republican presidential nomination could be decided when millions of voters cast their ballots after having seen the candidates only in advertisements or news reports.

Romney’s 11th-hour advertising blitz contrasts sharply with the air war already under way between the top Democratic candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. They had been advertising in most of the 22 states holding Democratic nominating contests Tuesday.

Yet neither has sufficient funds to blanket California, let alone all Feb. 5 states, with advertising. They are putting up ads head to head in only eight states: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Missouri, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey […]

Romney’s message? By reinventing himself yet again, this time as the “authentic conservative.” This is consonant with the Gage “death by internal memo analysis” we discussed here.

“WASHINGTON, Jan 31, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — Last night’s debate was yet another reminder of why smooth talking Mitt Romney keeps wracking up the silver and bronze medals, but just can’t seem to make it across the finish line,” writes, well, writes someone in an article titled DNC: Romney Hangs His Hat on Credibility… No, Really!

The DNC analysis is not only apt in itself—please remember our slogan, audi alteram partem, or consider every source—but it also aptly previews how a Romney nomination would get bracketed the a general election.

After losses in almost every critical state heading up to next Tuesday, Romney’s campaign has apparently decided that his last hope is to try to re-brand himself yet again — this time as an “authentic conservative.”

After all the damage Romney’s flip-flops have done to his credibility, hanging his hat on authenticity might not be the best plan. Exit polls in every early state have shown that voters who want a candidate who believes what he says are rejecting Romney: He was the top choice of just 7 percent of those voters in South Carolina, 14 percent in Iowa, 15 percent in New Hampshire, and 19 percent in Florida. Even in Michigan, a state where his home field advantage helped him win, Romney was the top choice of fewer than one in four voters who wanted a candidate who says what he believes. [CNN Exit Polls, 1/29/08]

“The more smooth talking Mitt Romney flips and flops from message to message, the more the voters see him for the blatant opportunist and shameless panderer he is,” said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. “Even if Romney could convince voters to ignore the secret timetable he supported for Iraq or his dismal economic performance in Massachusetts, Mitt can’t hide the fact that a vote for Romney is a vote for a third Bush term” […]

Yes. Well, the “I am more conservative than you are” message worked so well in Iowa. Isn’t that why Romney abandoned it in the first place?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


  1. 1 In final hours before super-duper apocalypse Tuesday, Romney races to the base in a grimly negative two pronged attack on Senator McCain « who is willard milton romney?

    […] We discuss and criticize Romney’s latest incarnation here. […]

  2. 2 Mitt Romney, Populist (Fighting for "the Heart & Soul" of the Republican Party)

    […] is proving an expert at reinventing himself and reframing his positions as his campaign rolls along. I imagine if he gets the nomination […]

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