Monday, February 20, 2012

Its not all Mitt's fault

Its deja vu all over again, isn't it? As some new insurgent takes a lead in the polls for the Republican nomination, everyone talks about the lack of depth in the field of candidates (they're talking about you Mitt) and starts looking for alternatives. As that pattern continues in the primaries, we hear increasing talk about a brokered convention where some star (Daniels or Christie...really?) will rise from the ashes to save the party.

Is anyone else noticing that this is an on-going search for a personality when the Republicans really should be looking for ideas?

Before we pin this problem all on the lack-luster flip-flopping campaign Romney has run, lets think about how mind-bogglingly boring Daniels was in his state of the union response. Or how Christie manages to offend one group or another any time he opens his mouth. Just imagine how long it would take for the establishment to dump them when these realities started catching up to them in the polls.

The truth is - the only way you can run a vigorous campaign is when you're telling the voters something that resonates. A good campaign team can then use an individual's personality to further that message.


So no attempt to find a personality that can spin tax cuts for the wealthy or an out-dated culture war is going to cut it.

The fact is that the Republicans are going to have to get serious about WHAT they're trying to sell and stop focusing so much of WHO.

I know...they're not going to do that. And personally, I don't care if President Obama has to beat Romney or Santorum or Daniels or Christie. But lets at least be clear about what's going on here...the old saying "all hat and no cattle" comes to mind.


  1. Truthfully, SP, IMO the Repubs do not need to 'get serious on WHAT they are trying to sell' because they have nothing - nothing new, that is. From way back in the health care fight they made that quite clear when they could not produce an alternate plan. The only time I can remember them actually producing anything other than one or two pages of cobbled together gooblegock is the Ryan budget. I suggest that while GOPs can be stubbornly adamant about their proven failed 'positions', they truly do not know how to govern and shouldn't be taken seriously.

    Of course, ;) I could also argue that Republicans HAVE BEEN unrelentingly serious about WHAT they're trying to sell - 'all hat and no cattle' - and it behooves voters to pay close attention.

    1. Repubs do not need to 'get serious on WHAT they are trying to sell' because they have nothing

      My point exactly...they have nothing! This search for a WHO is pointless given that reality.

    2. I do agree with you! I went away and came back because I realized that instead of a whole paragraph, I should just have said 'Republicans have neither WHAT nor WHO' .. and no amount of millions can change that.

  2. This is why they have to constantly promote fear.

  3. Yep. Their challenge is to find a candidate who can expound cruel and nutty viewpoints without sounding cruel and nutty. That's going to be existentially difficult.

    There is certainly the lure of the un-vetted candidate on the sidelines, which doesn't last much past the point when the candidate jumps into the race and starts getting vetted. Remember when Rick Perry was the Republicans' man-on-a-white-horse who was going to sweep all before him? Then they realized he was so dim he made Bush look cerebral by comparison. Gingrich seemed like the man until it turned out that his ego resembled the Hindenburg both in its overinflated size and its tendency to explode in flames. Even with Santorum, some of them are starting to realize he's too out-there to beat Obama. The same would happen to any of the other putative saviors.

  4. I really get the impression, the Repubs really don't want to win this election. I think they want President Obama to get everything in shape with another term, and then come in and tear it all down in 2016. I don't see a Dem for 2016, but then I didn't see Obama either until 2007, that we even had a chance.
    This whole Repub primary season is unreal. I think Mittens is going to be the nominee, the Repub are good at changing the vote. Roberta in MN

  5. Ms. Pants and Company,

    I bring you greeting from my chocolate grandson, currently being raised by two wonderful men in MA. We watched "Muppets 2011" tonight. You should watch it. It tells the tale of the working class.

    Your forbears are proud of you. Hell, even the Puritans think you're fine. My grandson thinks you are the cat's meow. I have nothing to add.

    Except that the accent still sucks.

  6. Great minds think alike. I posted something very similar yesterday, and then came across your post today. It occurred to me that the reason the Republican race has been so volatile this year is that the party is in search of a platform. Everybody used to think that Romney was the best candidate the Republicans could come up with because the economy was supposed to be the main issue, and Mitt's business experience was supposed to help make the case on that. But now that the economy is looking better, the Republicans are just flailing around looking for a good issue, and that could be why they are flirting with Santorum.

    The Republicans have no hope of mounting a decent campaign if all they stand for is to be against everything Obama has done. And while part of me thinks that would be just fine since it will make it easier for Obama to win, another part thinks it would serve the country better if the Republicans could come up with some decent competing ideas.

  7. Concentrating on the "who" is not a bug - it's a central tenet of conservative ideology. Who you are and how you were born is what grants legitimacy to conservatives. The "what" is simply unimportant.