The Czar got a fine piece of email regarding Mitt Romney.
Operative JF sends in the following suggestion:
RE: Romney’s Irwin PA Speech
I think you need to listen to it again. He has finally stepped up to the plate!
The Czar certainly paid close attention to it—but did not get caught up in the applause lines.
Was the speech good? Yes, it leaned toward very good, but wandered in a few parts. Was it passionate? Well, yeah, for Romney, it was pretty good. Did he throw some great charges at the President? He most certainly did.
But this isn’t going to be enough; this isn’t going to do it. And by that, the Czar means Romney is not going to get elected with speeches like this. Stepping up to the plate is indeed good, but swinging the bat is very much another thing. The Romney campaign boasted their numbers are even better than McCain’s. Great! Because McCain lost.
Look, the Czar has no beef with JF. Romney clearly avoided giving his usual speech theme of “Vote for me for President, because, really, when you think about it, I’m much better than Barack Obama.” Considering the NAACP speech, this is a great two-fer-two. But he doesn’t need to sell himself anymore to conservative audiences. He needs to win independent voters away from Obama—and right now, he’s tied for a very good reason with the President: he can’t get undecided people excited like Obama can (good or bad).
These undecided voters are telling pollsters quite candidly that Mitt Romney is a big fat nobody. All they know is that he’s rich, and that isn’t a bad thing. But what are the good things about Mitt Romney? More to the point, what is he really going to do? Polls show that undecided voters are itching to break away from Obama, but need a reason to do it. They say, in poll after poll, they need specifics.
In his Irwin speech, Mitt Romney promised five things he will do as President to turn this country around. And while the Czar certainly exaggerated them for effect, the sad reality is that they were indeed five totally vague ideas. Energy? Of course. But how? Trade? Yes, a very good thing. But how? And so on—can you repeat two examples from his speech as to how he will seek a balanced budget? Neither can we.
He isn’t going to win without independents—although by rights he should, but a third of conservatives are allegedly too busy kvetching at Obama to, you know, actually bother registering to vote. So like it or not, we need the independents. And if the independents want specifics, he’s going to have to do a lot more than this. One of the themes we keep seeing in the media is that “Republicans are stonewalling the President, but coming up with no suggestions of their own.” This is of course a total lie, but independents believe it. They aren’t getting anything solid from Mitt Romney to debunk it.
The Czar is particularly sensitive to politicians who let the people fill in the blanks as to what their ideas are. Obama got elected by the same high-level, detail-free descriptions of his plans, and he simply let independent voters fill in the details they wanted to imagine. Remember all the excitement voters had the day after election? They rattled off the stuff they were now going to see from Obama—except, of course, he never said 90% of it. He just gave high-level vagaries and let people’s imaginations run wild.
Romney isn’t stupid—that can’t be his plan to get elected. So to prevent another Obama term, he’s going to have get really specific—something the President has failed to do—and start hitting line drives at the President’s policies.
The good news is that Mitt Romney is indeed about to execute on some key strategies; earlier this week, he stated that he’s doing a foreign policy tour to introduce himself to our bitter allies. But when he comes back from that trip, he’s planning to start the major thrust of his campaign leading into the convention. Let’s hope so—because he could easily win by 10% or more of the vote against this paper bag of a President, but he’s been deadlocked for too long.
And this is really frustrating to a lot of people. You can read conservative political essay after essay, and see the same frustration. American history has rarely produced someone as dangerous to the structure of our country as Barack Obama; yet, at the same time, history has never produced a candidate so totally beatable in the election, either. We are creeping close to midsummer, meaning the election is getting very near; we should be seeing polls in the 60-35-5 range for Mitt Romney instead of this 45-45-10 average. Romney can easily change this; speeches like today’’s will fire up conservatives, but they’re pretty much a locked vote for Romney anyway.
Granted, the Irwin audience was not the time or place to win over the independents. But it’s gotta be soon.