Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Obviously, Mitt Romney's "fire people" line has gotten him a lot of negative attention, and other attacks (and self-inflicted wounds) appear to be hurting him. We still don't know to what extent they actually are hurting him, at least among Republican voters. We'll start finding out tonight.

I'm still inclined to play the contrarian -- I think GOP voters have Romney's back on this issue ... or, rather, they would have his back if they actually liked him, or trusted him, or felt in their bones that he'd be the liberalism-smasher and socialism-smiter of their dreams. At this point, it's possible that they're starting to turn away from Romney because they think he won't be their avenging hero after seeing him on the defensive about this capitalism stuff, not because they actually disagree with him in any way. (GOP voters' fantasies are impossibly naive: they really want someone who will never seem to be on the defensive; they imagine someone, essentially the reincarnation of their opium dreams of Ronald Reagan, who can just mow down the liberal/socialist/media/Hollywood/elitist/Muslim/non-white/gun-grabber/RINO enemy without suffering a scratch.)

In any case, the first thing I'd do if I were Romney right now is to get my researchers looking for evidence that the failed companies in Bain Capital's past were brought down by Evil Big Government. The evidence doesn't have to hold up under a lot of scrutiny -- just enough to persuade readers of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Blame it on government! Blame it on taxes! And regulation! Find something Barney Frank did that can be tied in some way, vague or otherwise, to the failure! That's what the GOP rubes want to hear.

And then, after that, if I were Romney, I'd do the right-wing version of Obama's race speech: a speech defending capitalism, and rhapsodizing about its wonders and glories and the beneficence it rains down on mankind, all while focusing on the nobility and heroism of Romney's own capitalist record. Come on -- isn't that what the punters really want from Romney? And don't you think you couldn't throw a rock at a right-wing think tank without hitting some callow Randbot who could write such a speech in his sleep?

Ride the white capitalist steed, Mitt. Get Peggy Noonan to polish the final draft so you sound like a guy running Potter's bank while talking like George Bailey, and even the swing voters in the fall will think it was a hell of a speech. Take advantage of America's woeful lack of class consciousness, dammit!


UPDATE: I hedged my bets in what I wrote above, but it's possible this Bain/pink slip/fire stuff isn't hurting Romney at all in the primaries: the latest Suffolk daily tracking poll of New Hampshire actually has him up 4 points, while his main antagonist on this, Newt Gingrich, is down 2. Maybe Romney is rallying the Randroids in his own party and alienating the general public! That would be awesome. (But we'll see about the latter in upcoming general-election polls.)


UPDATE: And meanwhile, Romney beats Obama by 2 in a CBS poll conducted January 4-8. A lot has happened since then, including everything discussed above, but this suggests that Romney is a lot more formidable a candidate than we'd like to believe, and perhaps that the public across the board is disturbingly comfortable with Bainism.


Danp said...

You're probably right that this strategy could work with low info voters, at least short term. The problem with it is that Bain relies so heavily on lobbying government for earmarks, tax incentives and bankruptcy benefits, that he could easily be portrayed as the ultimate welfare queen, especially if he tries it before he wins the primary season. Since Bain's stragegy is to get in and out, or at least keep their involvement liquid, he might have trouble finding an unreasonable regulation that Bain couldn't have forseen.

It's far more likely that Romney will make a broad assertion and let the media/opponents try to disprove it.

Steve M. said...

Well, the winger base never seems to mind when government largesse to a corporation seems to work out for the corporation, as long as global financial collapse doesn't result. A few thousand layoffs? No big whoop.

Dark Avenger said...

2% is the margin of error for most polls, Steve, so this only shows them as tied, at best.

c u n d gulag said...

Yeah, if this line came from Chris Christie, it would be fine - even though he's too Liberal for the base.

If Mitt does win the nomination, the "Fucking Clue-free" part of the Independents, who feel obligated to vote, despite not knowing jack-shit about wtf-all is going on, will turn on the TV, see a handsome white man in an expensive suit, and will vote for him over the nice, but overmatched black guy.

They're NOT racist, mind you!

It's just that that Mitt guy just LOOKS so Presidential!
And, before this Obama guy, who their friends hate, who ever thought of a black guy holding that office?

Mitt's got a good chance, if he's nominated, in November.

But, can he be stupid, greedy, ignorant, callous, and vicious enough, to appeal to a base that suspects he's not all that, and win that nomination?
That them there's the $250,000,000 question?

Steve M. said...

I don't find that encouraging. Given the depraved and sociopathic nature of the GOP, a sane country wouldn't have any Republican within double digits of even a flawed incumbent like Obama.

c u n d gulag said...

"...'sane' country..."


Don't forget to tell the audience to tip their wait and bar staff!

Oh, and try the prime rib while they still have some.

Ten Bears said...

Every report I've seen this morning - since four West Coast - has Obama polling with more votes in aggregate than all of the draft dodgers combined.

I don't much like Ron Paul, but at least when he was drafted - married with two kids - he went.

Republicans, are squaws.