Sunday, January 29, 2012

THE CAMPAIGN PRESS BEGINS TO DRESS TEAM ROMNEY IN A FLIGHTSUIT

Maybe the press is never going to warm to Mitt Romney himself -- maybe it will continue to treat him as contemptuously as it treated Al Gore in 2000 -- but I think it's possible that the press will transfer its desire for a Hero Republican Daddy to his campaign staff, and see starbursts whenever that staff does the wet work brutally and efficiently. Consider a few key passages from this New York Times front-page story by Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny entitled "The Calculations That Led Romney to the Warpath":

With the Florida primary two days away, Mr. Gingrich is now facing the full capabilities of a Romney team that was built for battle....

Behind the scenes, it [Romney's loss in South Carolina] was ... a call to arms employing all the visible and invisible tactics of political warfare....

If Mr. Romney does win here on Tuesday, it will have been through a blistering and unrelenting series of attacks....

David Kochel, an adviser who arrived here from Iowa to oversee the pressure campaign, described the strategy as "let's go rush the quarterback." ...

A team of some of the most fearsome researchers in the business, led by Mr. Romney's campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, spent days dispensing negative information about Mr. Gingrich....

When Mr. Romney delivered the attack against Mr. Gingrich that evening, Mr. Gingrich was left with no substantive response, a killer blow....


Wow -- after writing all this, I bet Rutenberg and Zeleny wanted a cigarette.

It would be unusual for the boys on the bus to dress the operatives in the metaphorical flightsuit while not really respecting the candidate, but we do live in a meta age -- it's been years since talk about Academy Award marketing strategies migrated from the pages of Variety to the popular press, and in politics, of course, Lee Atwater, Carville & Matalin, and Karl Rove became mainstream superstars over the past couple of decades. So why not?

This is the kind of thing I expect to be reading whenever the Romney campaign has the Obama campaign on the defensive, however temporarily. Sooner or later, some individual from the campaign will be deemed the new Carville, and will get the star treatment (magazine cover stories, softball interviews asking about his iPod songs and the contents of his refrigerator). And if he makes pugnacious comments that suggest he holds liberals, "elites," and the reporters who cover him in contempt, even greater swooning will follow.

4 comments:

c u n d gulag said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - our Fourth Estate makes me want to drink at least a fifth a day.
Of the hard stuff.

Actually, more like a liter...

Danp said...

If I hadn't read the first paragraph, I might have thought the NYT was writing about the Republican Army assault on Florida in the Battle of the Chads in 2000.

But a war on Newt? The real story here is that they need a proverbial nuclear attack to squash an ant. The number to watch after Florida is Mitt's favorability ratings, not the likelihood of outlasting this parade of clowns.

BH said...

Well said, Danp. Seems to me the real issue, notwithstanding the fluff dispensed by such as the NYT, is whether - after Mitty's open warfare on The Newt, whatever the outcome in Fla - how the lumpenright base views the former. If Mitty stomps him, the part of the lumpen which primarily worships power & success regardless of its possessor or his rhetoric will fall into line - but how big a part of the base will that prove to be? From a D standpoint, the only safe assumption is substantial R unity - but it just might be that the incessant rabblestirring of the last 3 (30?) years will turn around and bite the R's in the general, in the form either of an uber-rightist 3rd party or significantly depressed R turnout. One can hope.

james wilson said...

Hey i agree with the above comments...

Property Facility Management