Posts Tagged ‘Adam Reilly’

[…] “The new message about change, which aides said tested well in focus groups conducted during Sunday night’s debate on the Fox News Channel, was a last-ditch attempt to salvage what was left of Romney’s original strategy that envisioned vaulting himself to the nomination by winning Iowa and New Hampshire,” write Wapo’s Michael D. Shear and Chris Cillizza in an article titled Romney Homes In on a Message That Will Stick

Note that the title suggests that Romney has yet to arrive. He is still “homing in.”

Although it did not propel him to victory in New Hampshire — he came in second behind McCain — Romney is sticking with it.

During a 3 1/2 -hour “message meeting” on Tuesday night to discuss the next steps of the campaign, there was agreement that the change theme is one that resonates with Republican voters, according to a participant.

“He is finding his voice,” said Peter Barhydt, a top donor from Connecticut who did not attend Tuesday’s meeting […]

Only there is some confusion about whether this is a new message or an old message that got lost in the noise, the campaign’s own noise. Whose fault was it that the message got lost? The media, argues his imperious aloofness, Romney himself.

“If and when Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign dies, our former governor has his excuse picked out: the media did it,” writes Adam Reilly in a blog burst titled cruelly but aptly, Chump ‘Change’

In a pre–New Hampshire-primary interview with Politico earlier this week, Romney said his newfound focus on political “change” wasn’t newfound at all; the problem, according to Mitt, was that reporters in Iowa kept obsessing over his conservative credentials. “I go on TV and it’s, like: ‘Tell me about your church, tell me where you stand on abortion,’ ” Romney complained. “There is no question the focus of my campaign has been on changing Washington” […]

Comment: The reporters kept obsessing? Romney spends US$80 million dollars—and US$20 million or more of his own money on top of that, only no one knows how much because the Romneys aren’t telling—on IA and NH and the reporters are obsessive? To hold on to his tenuous and illusory leads in IA and NH Romney goes so viciously negative that it provokes a backlash so intense that Romney’s own numbers collapse and the reporters are obsessive?

[…] So, is it the press’s fault that Romney isn’t currently known as the change candidate? Not really. Blame, instead, the candidate himself — who astutely sensed the electorate’s desire for change, but lacked the gumption to follow his instincts.

Here’s a telling Romney quote from CBS’s Early Show, on the morning of January 4, one day after he lost to upstart Mike Huckabee in the Iowa caucuses: “Well, you know, I think the race in Iowa was really a very clear call that people want change in Washington. Not in the White House; in Washington.”

That’s nonsensical, obviously, since the White House is in Washington. But it’s also vintage Romney: calculating, inoffensive, and ultimately ineffectual. Candidate, heal thyself […]

Yuh-huh. Romney’s inability to stay on message has become a fixed point for friend and foe alike. For us it is evidence of the candidate’s non-fitness, lack of competence, and inexperience. For the Romneys it is an excuse, a rationale for the candidate’s non-performance, which for anyone else would be evidence of the candidate’s non-fitness, lack of competence, and inexperience.

Luo: “Ever since Mr. Romney began his presidential bid, his campaign has oscillated between two distinct, some would say contradictory, themes—Mr. Romney as a conservative standard-bearer and him as a pragmatic problem-solving businessman”

A message that has not gotten lost is Romney’s draconian-hardline position on immigration. This was another attempt by the hapless candidate to outflank his rivals on the right. It failed. And it may continue to return its dividend of failure as the campaign moves to other contests.

“The New Hampshire primary represented a victory for candidates with across-the-board political appeal, such as McCain, Clinton and in a way Obama, and a crushing defeat for real or campaign-season demagogues, including Romney and Edwards,” writes the estimable Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald in an Oppenheimer Report titled Anti-immigration strategy fails

Hopefully, as the race moves on from nearly all-white states to the more diverse South and West, candidates who embraced the anti-Hispanic immigration cause will realize that it may cause them more harm than good.

So far, the anti-immigration constituency has made a lot of noise but has not delivered the vote […]

Noise. Yes, Romney has made a great noise in this world. This is brute fact.

The question: Now, can Romney develop, amidst all that noise, or perhaps carve out from within all that noise, a message, a clear, compelling message that Romney can sustain and follow through with, a message consonant with Romney’s life and character, a message that is internally consistent and contradicts neither empirical fact nor the candidate’s earlier claims, assertions, arguments, or record of governance, a message that is positive, substantive, relevant, principled, and appropriate, and a message that does not suddenly turn and boomerang on Romney himself?

Romney has never developed nor delivered such a message before.

But we shall see.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


“A WEEK AND A HALF after its publication, the new book from Governor Mitt Romney — Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games (Regnery) — hasn’t exactly taken America by storm. As of Tuesday, it was stuck at 37,864 on Amazon’s sales list. By way of comparison, Leadership, the post–September 11 effort by former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, sits at 5789 nearly two years after it was published. Moreover, the initial critical response to Turnaround — which details Romney’s rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City — has been tepid. ‘The same traits that make Romney, now the governor of Massachusetts, an unobtrusive leader don’t always serve the book,’ Publishers Weekly observed delicately. The Deseret Morning News, the Salt Lake City daily owned by the Mormon Church, was more blunt, calling Turnaround ‘disappointing, politically self-serving, and remarkably dull for the most part,'” writes the estimable Adam Reilly in a reading of Romeny’s book for the Boston Phoenix titled Turnaround: A reader’s guide; Governor Mitt Romney bares his soul and sets the record straight between the lines of his critically defamed book

But Romney’s determined to do his darnedest to support his book, which he wrote with Timothy Robinson. The governor recently traveled to Utah to drum up publicity; today, from 12:30 to 2 p.m., he’ll sign copies of the 396-page tome at the Borders in Downtown Crossing, and talk it up on FOX News’ Hannity & Colmes program more

Please read the article. Here is but a sample.

And besides, the Romney clan suffers from noblesse oblige. “[S]omewhere deep inside, I hoped to commit myself to things greater than making a living or building a fortune. It was the spirit of service in one form or another — a family poltergeist that has haunted my ancestors for generations.” (7) …

Romney’s run against Ted Kennedy was purely symbolic. When he challenged Ted Kennedy for a US Senate seat in 1994, Romney knew he wouldn’t win. “We recognized that there was no way I was going to beat him. A Republican, white, male, Mormon millionaire in Massachusetts had no credible chance.” (14)

That said, Kennedy was a dirty trickster. “[Kennedy’s] ads reinforced people’s misperceptions about me as a money-grubbing businessman. He injected my Mormonism into the campaign in a highly visible way…. Ideas I brought forward were dissected and distorted to their illogical extreme.” (15)
more [Emphases in the original]

About the poltergeist claim, we are fully prepared to believe it on its face. Question: is Romney’s disastrous run the presidency now also “symbolic?”—and, if so, just what it is it a symbol of, may we ask?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. We found this article only by virtue of