This NY Times piece has Romney’s problem just about right: he doesn’t connect with folks. What they mean by that is that he is often, indeed, perhaps always, dreary, boring. His answers--even when they are good and clear and agreeable--seem distant and disengaged and and cold. Of course, this is said by his people (and Romney himself) to be just fine because it shows that he is a serious thinker, he’s analytical and deliberates about everything. He is careful, in other words. Well, maybe. But just keep in mind that this is exactly the same justification Hillary’s supporters offer when confronted with her cold and disengaged manner. Plant Fred Thompson next to Romney, and the latter will seem to be made of wood. This is also why Bill should never campaign by Hillary’s side. The Romney’s people had better deal with this.
I find Romney endearing. I think he is well spoken, and I believe he is sincere (dispite the efforts of antagonists to explain his religion, opinions and ideas).
I can understand that someone does not connect with him - but I think they are mostly the liberal media. I find it odd that democrats are giving advice to republicans on who to nominate for their candidate. Thompson appears as a convenient alternative - but lets see how he does once he actually makes the move to get off the sidelines and enter the race.
It is not "fine" if this is true. If Romney is not connecting and his people are saying it's because he's "thoughtful"--then he'd better be very careful and, I'd suggest, get new people. That is tantamount to making an announcement to the people who find you boring that they are stupid. This is John Kerry-land. If he's so thoughtful and I don't get it, I must be . . . what? Sorry, I'm not buying it. Look, for good or ill, the presidency is as much about theater as it is about substance. If people are falling asleep you're not doing your job. One need not be an actor to play one in real life, but it doesn't hurt.
I think this all goes back to that long (and somewhat tedious) discussion we had some months back about Obama's smoking. I said then that Romney's problem was going to be that there does not appear to be any love handles to grab onto. Nothing humanizing about him--nothing interesting or just a little dangerous or naughty. It's not believable that anyone could be so perfect--especially not today with YouTube. I mean, even John Edwards wipes snot on people! It makes people suspicious or incredulous or--I think--bored because they think it is BS. Good, I'm sure he is. He's even probably very good. Perhaps he is beyond reproach on every moral front. This is exactly what one wants in a teacher, a friend, a father or a mate. So what? We're not looking for one of those and we're getting a bit tired of the patronizing of people who campaign as if we are. It's also not just about his stance on the issues or about who is closest to approximating my stance on the issues. None of that means anything to me if the man doesn't seem likely to make it work. I would rather have someone with whom I disagree sometimes if he is serious about his disagreement with me. Make your case. Stand up for it. Show me you can and you will fight. Do you have enough moxy in you to do this job?
I know Romney's done hard things in the past and that's all good. I like him best when I hear about those things. But these hard things--running an extremely successful business and the Olympics and being a conservative governor in a liberal state--still seem rather prosaic in a way. They seem like the kinds of things that hard-working businessmen and politicians do in America every day. George W. Bush placated the great divide in his state too. Whoopee. That "new tone" translated really well in Washington politics. Pardon me for not getting all hot and bothered about a guy who knows how to get along with liberals.
Moxy. That's what I need to see. A president might have to make a decision that does not leave him beyond reproach. Not just unpopular, but actually not beyond reproach. Sometimes he will have to choose between two bad things. Will Romney be able to do it? When he does it will be be able to defend it or is he going to admit the error of his ways? Does he bleed red? Does he get angry? Does his hair move? I don't want to lapse into the territory of the unfair here . . . but these are the kinds of real questions people do have and will continue to have if he gets the nomination. If he can deal with them he should do it quick. He certainly SHOULD NOT imply that we peasants just don't understand things on the same plane where he dwells.
On the bright side there is this: if Hillary and Romney are the two candidates, perhaps they can bore all the terrorists to death.
Romney staffers, read your Ponzi!