by C. Edmund Wright 10/16/14
Run, Mitt, run. Yes, run far, far away from the Republican primary season that starts in 2015. You may be a fine man, but you are not going to be president, and you are not the answer for the Republicans in 2016. You could have/should have been both perhaps, but you blew it.
Now, I hate to even think about the 2016 election with the 2014 mid terms still weeks away, but this nightmarish Groundhog Day idea of Romney 2016 just will not go away. Most recently, the Washington Post chronicled how campaign events for Joni Ernst in Iowa and Scott Brown in New Hampshire devolved into Mitt 2016 love fests.
Yes, Iowa and New Hampshire. Mere coincidence, right? Hardly. The Post makes it clear that many of Mitt’s top supporters and donors want him to run – and more importantly, he is doing nothing to discourage this. Not only does he want to run, but he obviously wants to be begged to run to boot.
So as a public service, consider this top-ten list of why this losing notion should be put out of its misery.
10. BENGHAZI: When Mitt got thrown off his game in the second debate on the issue of Benghazi – thanks to CNN’s Candy Crowley – the trajectory of the election changed. To give him the benefit of the doubt, big Candy was sure that the administration was on top of the real cause of the attacks. However, Mitt then refused to revisit the issue and clear things up in the third debate, or even in the campaign messaging.
9. NICE GUY: After virtually calling Newt Gingrich the devil for four months, Romney and his campaign then thought they could run an “Obama is a nice guy who is simply over his head” template to victory. How did that work out? Anyone who thinks Obama is a nice guy, or who is too timid to tell the truth about him, does not deserve our support and does not deserve a second chance.
8. EVEN JAY LENO could explain, in his opening monologues, how absurd the notion of an 8% unemployment rate was. It’s called workforce participation. It’s not that hard to explain to voters. And yet, Team Romney didn’t want to even address this idea – formulatively figuring that no one gets re-elected with UE at 8%. And there were two more judgment mistakes on this issue as well: first, they should have seen it coming that Obama’s BLS would manage to get the rate below 8 before the election. Second, they conceded that those who were laid off after Obama’s election but before the inauguration were Bush’s unemployed. Come on, Mitt, you’re a businessman – you know better.
7. FLORIDA BLUES: It is axiomatic that Republicans must take Florida to win the White House. Mitt lost Florida. But he didn’t lose Florida in November. He lost Florida in February, when he used 99% of his monstrous ad buys to savage other Republicans with nary a mention of how wonderful Mitt is, let alone any mention of Obama – whoever the hell he is. In other words, Mitt salted the earth in Florida with negativity. Before Florida, the race was exciting and had high turnout. After Florida, turnout tanked everywhere compared to 2008 – and Mitt was never competitive with Obama in Florida. When you don’t realize who the real enemy is, you don’t deserve another chance.
6. ROMNEYCARE: Some people said that the very existence of Romneycare in Massachusetts doomed any Romney candidacy. Well, it certainly didn’t help – especially since Mitt and his campaign were pathetic in explaining that constitutionally, the “several states” were encouraged to be laboratories for potential federal programs, thereby drawing a huge distinction between a plan for a small, homogenous state and a plan for a massive and diverse nation. And since we’re talking 2016 here, the Romneycare history is still the same.
5. HIRED A BAD, BAD TEAM: Campaign manager Matt Rhodes famously said after Mitt’s defeat that he would have rather “lost with [Mitt] than win with anybody else.” Rhodes was the cancerous head of a poorly conceived campaign team – one centered in Boston geographically and, more importantly, ideologically. Not only that, but they were obsessed with the personality of Mitt and not the danger facing the country. This is not how Republicans win elections. Mitt will choose another poor team if given another chance. Let’s not do that.
4. HIS BRILLIANT VEEP candidate, and his advisors, apparently thought it was a good idea in the VP debate to agree with Joe Biden that poor Uncle Joe and Obama “inherited a mess.” Please tell me how this works. Biden has been in Washington since AMTRAK was pulled by mules – how did he inherit anything? And Obama’s ideas have been in Washington even longer than that. The notion that two liberals inherited a mess of conservatism or even Republicanism is just silly. And it was devastating. We don’t need a repeat of this.
3. TORTURE THE DOG: Yes, Mitt cruelly tortured his dog on top of the car. Okay, just kidding – but this is the kind of issue – along with Julia and the war on women – that you have to put up with when you don’t run a bold and fearless campaign of big ideas. The GOP establishment does not understand big ideas as they are held prisoners of their formulas and focus group results, always giving us a campaign of issue A over here and issue B over there – and never tying any major theme together. We don’t need a repeat of the dog on top of the car!
2. THE VERY ESSENCE of conservatism, in contrast to Obama’s statist liberalism, is that this nation was built on free enterprise. It underpins all of our military strength, our generosity, our opportunity, and our inherently independent citizenry. And yet, Mitt and his campaign would not defend this notion and in fact acted embarrassed by Mitt’s successes in business. Mitt’s acumen helped make many other partners rich and saved a number of companies and thousands of jobs. This is a good thing. But instead of embracing it, they just braced in the face of the Occupy Wall Street-type Democrat campaign.
AND THE NUMBER-ONE REASON? BLAME BUSH: In exit polls from the 2012 election, 53% of voters still blamed George W. Bush for the economic problems. Interestingly, Obama got about 53% of the raw vote. This is no coincidence. In fact, Romney and Paul Ryan conceded this point during their entire campaign. Not only is this an example of poor campaign strategy and total gutlessness, but it is supporting a damnable lie to begin with. Bush was to blame for the economy only in that he didn’t do enough to reverse thirty years of liberal policy regarding energy, lending, housing, environmental law and regulation, etc. Conceding that Bush was the problem only enhanced the idea that Obama was the solution. Mitt said nothing very different on the economy from what Bill Clinton said in his pro-Obama appearances.
All ten reasons are exemplary of unforced errors and of judgment mistakes. This is how the GOP establishment – and Mitt is part of the establishment – runs campaigns. The last thing we need in 2016 is a repeat of 2012. Or 2008. Or 1992. Or 1996. No thanks.
C. Edmund Wright is contributor to StubbornThings, American Thinker, Newsmax TV, Talk Radio Network and author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again. • (1338 views)