Peggy Noonan has a brilliant idea, in response to a remark President Obama made about Mitt Romney:
Calling Mr. Romney's economic plans Romney Hood was dim because everyone likes Robin Hood, so Romney Hood sounds kind of like a compliment. Now and then the foes of a candidate accidentally do him a good turn. The Soviets thought they were disparaging Margaret Thatcher when they called her the Iron Lady. She was cold, wouldn't bend, couldn't compromise. The British heard the epithet and thought: Exactly! And exactly what we need!I'll grant Noonan's point about Thatcher -- right-wingers love the name "Iron Lady" (Michele Bachmann loves it so much that she tried applying it to herself, and fellow Islamophobe Frank Gaffney thinks the name fits her).
An admiring nickname meant as an insult was born. Mr. Romney should go with it, lay out how he'll save taxpayers from the predators of the liberal left and call that Romney Hood.
But, um, no -- regarding this insult, Mitt Romney absolutely cannot "go with it." He can't call himself "Romney Hood."
Yes, people like Robin Hood. Why? Because Robin Hood is a guy attacking the powerful on behalf of the powerless. I don't think there's a single nationally known politician in America less capable of wearing that mantle persuasively than Mitt Romney.
I'll acknowledge that other Republicans, from Reagan and Nixon through some of the teabaggers, have postured as populists sticking it to The All-Powerful Liberal Man. But they're not Romney. The first thing most voters learn about Romney is that he's stinking rich. The second thing they learn is that he regards anyone who's not stinking rich as a member of an alien species.
But really, Mitt, if you'd like to give Noonan's recommendation a try. I'd sure be eager to see the results.