Posts Tagged ‘baffling stupidity’

“If Mitt Romney is rising in the polls in New Hampshire, this might explain why: He appears to be spending huge sums on TV in the state, and has been doing so for some time,” writes Greg Sargent for Election Central | Talking Points Memo in a post titled Romney Spending Huge Sums On TV Ads In New Hampshire

Mitt was spending $100,000 a week through October, and he’s now upped the ante to $200,000 a week, according to a report from GraniteProf that the Romney camp has not disputed. He notes that this level of spending translates into some 200 ads per week.

It’s yet more confirmation of the extent to which the Romney camp is putting all its chips on big wins in New Hampshire (where he’s widening his lead) and in Iowa (where the race is rapidly tightening) in advance of Rudy’s predicted success on super-primary day, Feb. 5. (Via Jonathan Martin.) … etc.

Just so. Let us ponder the depth and scope of Romney’s error for a moment. From Von Clausewitz’ On War:

… It is even possible that the attacker, reinforced by the psychological forces peculiar to attack, will in spite of his exhaustion find it less difficult to go on than to stop—like a horse pulling a load uphill. We believe that this demonstrates without inconsistency how an attacker can overshoot the point at which, if he stopped and assumed the defensive, there would still be a chance of success—that is, of equilibrium. An attacker may otherwise take on more than he can manage and, as it were, get into debt …

… this is why the great majority of generals will prefer to stop well short of their objective rather than risk approaching it too closely, and why those with high courage and an enterprising spirit will often overshoot it and so fail to attain their purpose. Only the man who can achieve great results with limited means has really hit the mark … etc., etc.

Romney has vastly overshot the mark in both Iowa and New Hampshire. So much so that he has prejudiced in advance the conclusions that will be drawn from his victories, and doomed himself completely should he fall short of overwhelming victory. Hence: Boy Romney is pinned. Against Gov. Huckabee, against Mayor Giuliani, against Sen. McCain, all of whom have suddenly begun advertising whether in New Hampshire or in Iowa or both, Romney must hemorrhage disproportionately more money, more credibility, and more of his dignity, because he himself has created conditions such that a loss in either state may be fatal to his campaign. We predicted this—we predicted precisely this:

how hizzoner brings the fight to Romney—Romney caught in a punic pincer

Question: has there ever been a dumber candidate? Has any candidate in the history of US political campaigns ever botched a race so badly—in advance?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


“Despite spending gobs of money, despite eclipsing Fred Thompson in the invisible primary, [Romney] still can’t quite connect with conservatives,” writes Patrick Ruffini in a post titled Where’s Romney’s Bio.

Yes, he barely won the FRC straw poll, but only after he and the other ballot stuffing strawpoll-centric campaigns figured out they could phone it in for the in-person contest and focus exclusively on running up the score in the online vote. Filter out the online votes, and you have a pretty organic (and one sided) protest vote for Mike Huckabee.

Romney’s speeches are built on the assumption that he can out-conservative Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee by out-talking them. His words are a litany of conservative talking points.

Earlier this year, when his conservative credentials were genuinely in question, the issues-talk might have helped. But now his problem has morphed into something far worse: an authenticity problem centered around flip-flopping. And arguably, each time he opens his mouth and spouts platitudes, he only makes it worse.

Romney has done to himself what the Bush campaign did to John Kerry. The Bush team made it so that every time Kerry opened his mouth, he hurt himself, thanks to the perception that he was talking out of both sides of his mouth. Kerry couldn’t help himself by saying the right things because nobody believed what he was saying.

Romney’s situation is further complicated by the fact that issues are actually friendly terrain for Rudy Giuliani. Huh? That’s right — because people assume Rudy’s positions are liberal, when he talks conservative, that’s reassuring. When Romney talks issues, people assume he’s pandering.

Rudy has an issues problem, one that he’s trying to make go away by talking issues. Romney’s problem is not an issues problem. The flip-flopping charge is a character problem, not an issues problem. So what Romney really must do is shore up perceptions of his character.

Romney should resign himself to the fact that he won’t be able to out-conservative Thompson or Huckabee on issues … etc., etc.

The emphases are ours.

Sage advice based on sound analysis. Will Romney take it? Or is he, as Geraghty puts it, “hell-bent on proving he’s a social conservative despite a less-than-ideal record.”

Hey, Romney. Here’s thought. Fire your entire communications staff and all your consultants—immediately. Then start all over again. Only this time try to organize a campaign based on themes you actually believe in. What a concept!

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Despite his Mormon faith and the evolution in his position on abortion rights, Mitt Romney insists that he is a consistent conservative and the best choice for Republican voters,” writes someone, we know not who, for cbsnews in a release titled Romney: I’m The Consistent Conservative; Former Massachusetts Governor Says He Has Steady Republican Credentials.

No, Romney has been wildly inconsistent—here is but a small, small sample:

By Romney’s own admission he has been wildly inconsistent. Regard: an excerpt from Dan Baiz and Michael D. Shaer’s take on the debate (titled Personal attacks pepper debate):

Romney was forced to defend positions he had taken in his 1994 Senate race against Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. In that race he supported abortion rights and said he would be a better choice for gay Americans than Kennedy.

“I was fighting against the liberal lion in perhaps the toughest state in America. And I’m pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish in that race, but nothing compares to the pride I have with the work that I was able to do as a governor,” Romney said … etc., etc.

Let us try to follow Romney’s, um, “reasoning”: I was fighting against the liberal lion—the liberal lion!?—in the toughest state in America, so

I had to adopt liberal positions?


I had to pretend to adopt liberal positions?


I had to persuade people that I held to their positions even though I didn’t?

What does this mean, precisely!?—what can this mean?—what it seems to mean is that Romney is a creature of convenience and expedience—and, moreover, he’s proud of it! OK, fine, but how is this in any way consistent? (Was he a mole for social conservatives?—a secret agent for the right?)

Back to

The former Massachusetts governor, who on Saturday won a straw poll of evangelicals at the Values Voter Summit, gave an exclusive interview to Face The Nation Friday night.

Correction: Romney did not win, at least not in any conventional sense—like everything else in Romney’s life Romney’s win was equivocal. See:

David Brody on Romney’s performance at the FRC value voters summit: the people [who] actually heard the speeches thought Huckabee was the best candidate there

Back to

“I believe in the principles of my party,” Romney told Bob Schieffer. “And I believe that the only way that we’re going to take the White House is not by acting like Hillary Clinton, but by holding true to the principles of our party, which is a coalition of social, economic and foreign policy conservatives” … etc., etc.

And we believe that Romney’s flat denials of grim reality are precisely why he is the least effective of the Republican candidates. Regard: AmSpec’s Jennifer Rubin concluded her remarks on the last debate with these two lines: McCain is back in the fight and no one really laid a glove on Rudy. Someone eventually will have to or the race won’t change.

But gloves were laid on Rudy at the debate. And: the Romney Slime machine emits anti-Rudy noise almost continuously. See:

The result of Romney’s constant attacks? Negligible. Think of words as units of exchange, as a form of currency, which, in a sense, they are. Now consider: Romney’s negatives are as high as his credibility is low. Hence: Romney has nothing to trade, and nothing reliable with which to guarantee the veracity of his claims—no personal prestige (gravitas), no commitment to the the truth, nothing. Romney simply isn’t credit worthy. Because Romney is a credit risk, he pays higher interest rates than the rest of us. This accounts—in part, at least—for Romney’s disastrously low ROI for his every campaign dollar. Mismanagement and incompetence probably account for a lot of it too. See:

Kleefeld: “High Burn Rate Puts Romney Behind Rudy In Cash On Hand”—more evidence of the scarily low ROI Romney gets for his every campaign dollar

yours &c.
dr. g.d.