Romney won the Republican nomination more due to the seeming inevitability factor and having by far the most cash to spend and still managed to make it appear almost uncertain as each of his rivals each got one turn to shine and fall. He rode the title of inevitable for all it was worth and proved it true in the end. Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, President Obama is very likely to have the ability to outspend him many times over. It has always amazed me how the Republicans, who are labeled as the party of the wealthy, or the one percent in today’s lingo, are almost universally outspent by their Democrat rivals. Gee, and I have always been told how the Republicans are the One Percenters and the Democrats represent the ninety-nine. Somehow, completely inexplicably, despite their reputations, the Democrats almost invariably outspend the Republicans; especially when it comes to Presidential elections, well, at least lately. So, with Mitt Romney in the unfamiliar predicament of being the poor man in the race, exactly what does he need to accomplish to successfully win the Presidency?
The first thing Mitt Romney must overcome is his reputation of being out of touch with the majority of Americans which he can accomplish by, as they say, letting his hair down. He needs to adopt a more earthy use of language and a more relaxed look. Drop the suit, unbutton his collar, loosen or lose the tie, maybe roll up his sleeves, maybe even have a hair or two out of place. His perfection I just stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine look has got to be surrendered to a more relaxed and informal approachable appearance. He probably should not go quite so far as to adopt the Santorum sweater vest look. Anything which will make him appear approachable and informal, even a touch of vulnerability because if he is unable to reach out and make contact and a slight sense of intimacy with the voters he will have an even steeper hill to conquer. If Romney ends up looking like a stiff shirt next to President Obama he will not be able to engage the people at the debates, let alone those watching it on television. This was evident when during the first television presidential election the polls showed those listening to the Nixon-Kennedy debate on the radio felt that Nixon won handily while those watching on Television found Kennedy to be more appealing as he came across smooth and sharp while Nixon seemed out of sorts and was sweating. Ever since it has been how you look during your campaign appearances just as much or more than what you may have said. This election we will watch two polished looks presented before us on our high-def flat screen televisions.
As far as content, Mitt Romney will have to run his campaign on dual tracks in order to combine efforts to get his message out and defend against accusations and other attacks which are sure to come. Mitt Romney will need to stick hard and fast to the economy, jobs, and repairing the position and reputation of the United States in the world as the world leader and preeminent force. Romney will also need to respond to many of the challenges from the Democrats who will be using class warfare and other stock liberal slights commonly used against conservatives. Even if all this goes well, there will be one last hurdle which Mitt Romney will need to overcome.
Mitt Romney is facing a base where many do not honestly believe his claims to have always been a true conservative and that he has evolved gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for the conservative message and principles. Mitt Romney is going to face his greatest challenge attempting to explain and redefine much of his legacy from his time as the Governor of Massachusetts. Almost any rationalizing or making excuses will only make matters worse as his base are not looking for apologies or excuses, they want to know that he has changed. Mitt Romney will need to give the motivation which brought him to a new grounding as a real fiscal, social and all around complete, true, and honest conservative. None of the excuse he was working in a Democrat state with a Democrat legislature and that had he not held the line things would have been even worse. Romney’s base does not want less worse; they want a true and complete conservative. So, this will be Mitt Romney’s quintessential challenge, to convince the hardcore, doubting and suspicious segments of the base Republican conservative voters, the Tea Party, the Constitutionalists, the Libertarian, and the other various conservative, that he has made an honest reevaluation and give the blow-by-blow description of his transformation. Romney must remove any shreds of doubt that he will be an honest conservative and not simply try to minimize the inexorable spread of oversized liberal government. Romney must prove his intentions are to reduce government, to cut back and trim wherever and whenever he has the opportunity and that he will instigate policies which will lead to the retraction of government from our lives and reduce government interference in our lives. And finally, he must promise and make good to reduce taxes and recall many of the destructive and invasive regulations which have been spawned constantly from before the Obama Administration but have gone ballistic during this administration. This is Mitt Romney’s path to the White House.
Beyond the Cusp