John Podhoretz, in despair, offers Mitt Romney some advice:
... The line from Romney headquarters last month was "every day we're not talking about the economy is a day we lose." ... Well, Romney HQ isn't talking about the economy these days. It's talking about the ad that all but accused Romney of murdering a woman with cancer. It's talking about its vice-presidential pick. It's talking about whether its ad accusing the president of gutting welfare-to-work laws is accurate....You know what? Mitt Romney actually could regain control of the discussion just by talking about the economy -- if he'd say something about the economy that gave average Americans the slightest bit of hope. Yes, for a while he was talking about the economy as much as possible, but what he was saying was essentially this: Obama sucks, so vote for me -- I'm a stinking-rich CEO, and even though I'm too secretive to give you the slightest hint of what I'd do as president besides repealing Obamacare, what more do you need to know than the fact that I'm a stinking-rich CEO? I'd do stinking-rich CEO stuff. That's all you need to know. And that would be excellent. Trust me.
Romney has just learned over the past few weeks that he cannot limit the discussion to the topics he wishes to talk about, especially when his rival is spending $100 million trying to destroy him in the swing states and when the media are largely serving his purposes....
So here’s why he should be talking about other things, releasing plans, giving speeches on big topics -- because it's the only way he can control the discussion. If he says the same thing about the economy every single day, he bores. He provides nothing new for anyone to fix on. He has to feed the beast....
The problem, of course, is that -- apart from the usual talk of tax cuts and cuts to "wasteful government spending," which every Republican for the past thirty years has talked about -- Romney can't really say anything that will offer ordinary Americans hope. He can't honestly tell them that programs they rely on will be curtailed, tax deductions they count on will be eliminated, regulatory mechanisms they hope are protecting them will be gutted. But you'd think he could at least come up with a few promises, even dishonest ones, that would give voters hope -- tangible and specific promises that would make voters say, Yeah, that would make my life better.
He doesn't seem to think that's necessary -- he's a CEO, dammit! He's just going to crunch the numbers and put this baby into the black! Don't ask how! Don't worry your peon head about the possible consequences in your pathetic life!
And so he's offering change without hope. Of course he's losing.