Thursday, August 09, 2012


Look, I like to watch Mitt Romney squirm as much as the next guy, but I think we're making way too much of this story:
A Mitt Romney spokesperson offered an unusual counterattack Wednesday to an ad in which a laid-off steelworker blames the presumptive GOP nominee for his family losing health care: If that family had lived in Massachusetts, it would have been covered by the former governor’s universal health care law.

"To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney's health care plan, they would have had health care," Andrea Saul, Romney’s campaign press secretary, said during an appearance on Fox News....
First of all, Andrea Saul is a person most voters have never heard of. The majority of voters won't even know her name if Romney wins and she becomes his White House spokesperson. This isn't a big mainstream news story. So it's not going to affect any swing voters.

As for the base, well, I know Erick Erickson is howling that this is "The Moment All the Doubts About Romney Resurfaced on the Right." But what's the difference between this and Romney's message for the past year and a half? He's been saying that the Obama health law is Satan's plan for the destruction of America, which he'll smite the first day in office, while his own health law was just fine, thanks, and the difference between the two laws is shut up. And he won the nomination that way.

Now he's the base's only hope, and according to some polls, that's actually working -- GOP voters have more enthusiasm about this election than Democrats, not because they like Romney or trust him (they don't), but because they hate Obama with every fiber of their being.

Romney has nearly three months to try to get voters to forget this slip-up by a staffer who's known only to political pros and mavens; he ought to be able to do it in about a week, even in the case of wary members of the base. All he should have to do is remind them who his opponent is.

But now he'll probably double down on his already excessive campaign to woo a base he's already won. He'll tack even further to the right. He'll go even further down the list of right-wing grievances and champion some of the crazier ones.

But he doesn't have to do this. He's got the base. They're not going anywhere. And swing voters don't know who the hell Andrea Saul is.


Victor said...

Yes, he's got the base - but the question in his and everyone else's minds on the Conservative side is, "How many of them will show up and vote?"

And this self-inflicted Chinese Water Torture, this drip, drip, drip, of gaffe's and missteps, isn't helping Mitt any with the base.

Right now, the Obama campaign is concentrating on painting Mitt as some "severe Conservative" cold-hearted corporate raider, who'll shut the business you work for down without a thought, and leave you jobless and benefitless, all for fun and profit.

They're doing this to paint a story for the few "Independents" out there who haven't yet made up their minds.

I think that after the Republican Convention, the Obama campaign might also take on Mitt and paint him the same way the Bush campaign did Kerry - as a shameless flip-flopper.

This may hurt Mitt with some of the base, who want authoritarian absolutists.
And with "Independents," it well further help paint Mitt as a man who'll say anything to get elected.

Sure, what his Press Secretary said about Romneycare will probably be quickly forgotten - until it isn't.
And, if they're smart, which they are, the Obama campaign will be reminding people of this gaffe every day until November 6th.

They'll want people to think, "Why should my family and I have to move to MA if I get laid-off? Why can't MY state have Romneycare - I mean OBAMAcare?"
I think THAT'S a winning message for everyone but the Conservative base.
Mitt's got that 27% in his pocket. All Obama needs is another 24%. And, if less of that 27% shows up to vote for Mitt, because they lack conviction that he has conviction, then the percentage Obama needs, goes lower than 24%.

Drip... Drip... Drip...

Dave S. said...

I would argue that Romney's nomination is more a factor of his freak-show-escapee competition than his position on healthcare.

Steve M. said...

Well, I'm not saying he won because of health care. He won in spite of it. I'd say he won mostly because maybe 20% of Republicans aren't completely crazy, and he got most of those people. That plus the money he used to crush his opponents, and the fact that he was one non-crazy and the crazy candidates split the vote. (Huntsman was always seen as way too compromised ever to be a serious factor.)

Philo Vaihinger said...

Geat commercial, by the way. I don't care what the idiot MSM pundits say, flacking for the plutes. If your policy choices kill people you have to take the rap. And "letting them die" is what the conservative movement and the Republican Party it controls is all about.

Tom Hilton said...

But now he'll probably double down on his already excessive campaign to woo a base he's already won.

As Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, at almost exactly the same time Andrea Saul was on Fox, the Romney campaign was rolling out Newt "food stamp President" Gingrich to make the welfare queen attack.

So, yeah.

The New York Crank said...

Curmudgeonly pessimist that I am, let me caution all of us about getting too confident about Obama's chances.

Overconfidence breeds stay-at-home voters, fewer and smaller campaign contributions, and a kind of serene Thorazine fog that can lose close elections for people who really should win them.

Remember, this election ultimately will get decided by three unemployed construction workers two farmers, and a little old lady in Miami.

So run scared, my friends. For the love of America and the survival of social security, medicare, and a woman's right to own her own body, run very, very scared.

Yours crankily,
The New York crank.