Posted by: mutantpoodle | September 18, 2012

The disconnect

Let’s step back, shall we, from Mitt Romney’s horrible week. Well, weeks. Because as offensive as it is, I don’t think that Romney’s remarks about the 47%, released yesterday, are as damaging to him as the larger impact. (We’ll just set aside that Romney basically threw up his hands over the Israeli – Palestinian conflict for now.)

Since there is, admittedly, no real preparation for the Presidency, people look for clues about how someone will behave in office.  The biggest clue, of course, is their campaign. (Romney could, of course, point to his governorship, but apparently that never happened, if you look at how often he mentions it.)

People tend to forget how good Obama’s 2008 campaign was. He had a long term strategy and stuck with it, even in tough times. Does anyone remember that John McCain led Obama for a week after the GOP convention? (Note to Mitt Romney – that’s what happens when you do a convention competently.) Yet Obama didn’t panic, and it was his cool, in large part, that set him apart from the flailing McCain campaign in the midst of a global financial meltdown.

Romney’s campaign has been, to put it politely, a horrendous clusterfuck.

And here’s the problem: Romney’s core argument is that, as a competent executive, he knows how to turn our economy around.

Worse, pretty much all the finger-pointing with respect to the Romney campaign is aimed at…Mitt Romney.  He took the lead in politicizing the death of four Libyan consulate workers, and he was the one talking in Boca Raton.

Funny what passes for competent executive these days.

Unlike private equity, you can’t leverage a political campaign to come out ahead even if you run it into the ground.  To win a campaign, you have to actually successfully manage it.

I am, I admit, baffled by this. I’ve never assumed that Romney is dumb – just craven. I would have thought he understood a little bit about efficient organizations, and maybe he does – his 2012 campaign notwithstanding.

What Mitt Romney doesn’t understand is people who aren’t like him. I can only assume that, in the confines of the wealthy people’s club, he’s a hail fellow well met. Outside of that world, he is a walking tin ear.

The danger for Mitt Romney isn’t losing. The danger is that he takes some Senate seats with him and puts the House in play.  If you’re wondering why the GOP infrastructure is freaked out, and why two New England Republicans are walking away from Mitt’s comments, that’s why.

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