Monday, August 27, 2012


Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen interview Mitt Romney for Politico and find that he is the most self-pitying major-party presidential candidate since Richard Nixon (although that's not how they put it):
Mitt Romney conceded President Barack Obama has succeeded in making him a less likable person, but he offered a defiant retort to those hoping he will open up this week: "I am who I am."
(Yup -- it's all Barack Obama's fault!)
Romney quoted that Popeye line three times in a 30-minute interview with POLITICO about his leadership style and philosophy, swatting away advice from Republicans to focus on connecting with voters in a more emotional, human way at this convention....

"I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretend they're something they're not," Romney said. "You get what you see. I am who I am."
Yeah -- the popular kids get away with everything!
"I don't think everybody likes me," Romney said. "I don't believe that, by any means. But I do believe that people of this country are looking for someone who can get the country growing again with more jobs and more take-home pay, and I think they realize this president had four years to do that. ... He got every piece of legislation he wanted passed, and it didn't work. I think they want someone who has a different record, and I do."
That's right -- Obama faced absolutely no resistance from Congress! Gitmo is closed, the Bush tax cuts are history, the DREAM Act is law, cap-and-trade is in place -- and he gets away with asking for more because he's a BMOC, unlike Romney!
... during the interview, Romney made plain he is tired of the criticism that he is stiff, distant or not broadly liked by voters.

Again and again, he argued that he was likable enough to bring together people of divergent views to rescue the Olympics, pioneer profit-making ideas at Bain, govern a Democratic state and even to win over peers in school.

"I was voted the president of my fraternity," he said. "They don't call them fraternities at Brigham Young University. They're called Service Clubs. It was the Cougar Club. But you don't get voted to be head of your group if you don't get along with people, if you don't connect with people."

The issue seems close to the surface for Romney....
This guy is more Nixonian than Nixon. Nixon didn't tell interviewers he was a quivering mass of resentments and grudges -- we had to learn that from journalists and historians. Romney just flat-out admits it. No wonder he's losing!

Except it's not at all certain that he's losing:
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Romney at 47 percent among registered voters and Obama at 46 percent....
And that's before any convention bounce.

I'm starting to think Romney's going to win this thing. It's the economy, obviously -- but it may also be that, after being asked repeatedly to show us who he really is, Romney is actually doing that -- and the real Romney is a guy with everything who nevertheless feels very, very sorry for himself, and very, very angry at all the mean people who won't leave him alone. (Um, yeah, he did volunteer to run for president, but he seems to think he has a right to do that and not expect scrutiny.)

And maybe his supporters like that about him. Who's going to vote for Romney? White people, obviously, particularly white men. I wonder if they actually relate to Romney in his self-pitying, put-upon mode. Some white men in this country haven't screwed by the economy but think they're victims nevertheless (the rich who whine about lack of respect from Obama even as their wealth increases, the upper middle class). Other white men are screwed by the economy, but they're in the habit of blaming non-whites, women, the media ... pretty much everybody Obama is reaching out to, and pretty much everybody except the fat-cat bosses who use them up and toss them on the trash heap. Struggling white men relate to the people who screw them. So maybe they relate to a guy like Whining Willard.


ploeg said...

Romney can win, it still remains to be seen that Romney is likely to win. The cited Washington Post-ABC News poll has been back and forth on that question for the past year. Romney's been down during the primary season, as one would expect, and he's coming back slightly now that he's announced his VP pick and he's locked in as the nominee. But people haven't really been paying attention and probably won't until mid-September at the earliest.

The main unknowns at this point are voter turnout and voter suppression. Most other polls have Obama at an advantage with registered voters but close to dead even with "likely voters." If Obama voters show up and have their votes count, then Obama wins. If Obama voters don't show up, or if voter suppression suppresses substantially more Obama voters than Romney voters, then Romney might pull it out.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Romney has just released another ad campaign attacking Obama for cutting $700 billion from Medicare, painting himself and Ryan as saviors of the program.

The Guardian reported it Sunday and did nothing, in the article reporting it, to point out that this claim is a gross distortion aimed at terrifying seniors of a $700 billion benefit cut when it is nothing of the kind.

Yes, you can win with deception, bullshit, and hatefulness.

And you can lose by not being aggressive enough, soon enough, often enough.

Palli said...

The last decade ballot tabulation fraud and voter suppression (legal and illegal) test runs throughout the county were successful and basically unchallenged. We are all used to squeaky close elections. It will be easy to thwart the will of the majority of American people. We may be doomed to suffer Rovian will.

Victor said...

If I was born and lived in another country, I'd say America deserves to have someone like Mitt Romney as its President, instead of Barack Hussein Obama.

Who better, than a whining entitled insecure elitist rich white male, who was a rapacious businessman, to lead a rapacious country with all of the 'good and plenty' every other nation on the planet wished it had, and which doesn't want to share anything except military hardware it either sells to you, or drops on your poor feckin' head?

Of course, if I were any other shade but white, and born and lived in another country, I'd be scared feckin' sh*tless of a Romney Presidency.

I hate to say this, but this stupid fucking country deserves Mitt Romney.
Who better to kill it, and put us all out of our misery?

Maybe something useful can rise up out of the ashes.

Phil Freeman said...

I'm starting to think Romney's going to win this thing.

Oh, quit being so disingenuous. You've thought Romney was going to win since forever. Well, more accurately, you've thought forever that Obama was going to lose to whoever the Republicans vomited up. Because you think Obama's a big loser.

Romney's not gonna win. If he even gets close, it's gonna be a popular vote vs. electoral college thing, and he's gonna be on the wrong side of it. His percentage of the popular vote comes from all the wrong states, you see. He's got the rednecks, and he's got the backwoods types, and some of the Middle American resentment-farmers. But he doesn't have the coasts, and he doesn't have the big Middle American states that bring all the electoral votes with 'em. He's gonna lose. And personally, I don't believe it's going to be close. I understand that there's a big industry (of which you're an unpaid part) devoted to selling the myth/fear of a truly nail-biting election, but I don't see it. (Neither does Nate Silver.)

Missy Vixen said...

This year's Republican Presidential Campaign should be known as Whinefest 2012. 'Coz these guys sure can whine.

Steve M. said...

Oh, fuck off, Porn Boy. You're as pathetic a stalker as Donald Douglas, except you just want to catch me being either wrong on a minor point or a bit gloomier than circumstances warrant.

I've said repeatedly here that Romney seemed to be running a losing campaign -- I'm just having evidence-based doubts now.

You're forgetting that the GOP has probably already Jim Crowed its way to a win in Ohio (18 electoral votes). You're also forgetting that there are backwoods in Pennsylvania and Virginia and North Carolina and Michigan and Wisconsin.

What are you predicting? Obama with 300+ electoral votes? What kind of money do you want to bet on that?

Phil Freeman said...

I don't think Obama's gonna cross 300, no, but he will end up in the 290s. Romney is a bad candidate, disliked by a large portion of the voters of his own party. The absolute best chance he's got of winning is if the "fuck that nigger" vote is way bigger (like, 5-6 points bigger) than it was in 2008, and there's absolutely no evidence of that. Is there?

Steve M. said...

Romney up 55-37 among whites in the linked poll? I can't find the number for white men, but I'm sure the margin is massive.

Philo Vaihinger said...

I'm thinking my fellow white males are the dumbest voters on the planet.

BH said...

I'm thinking you're right, PV, and they're my fellows too. But, 'twas ever thus, no?

Rand Careaga said...

It's certainly too early for us to be doing victory laps, Steve, but I think that you're overlooking the Democrats' secret weapon, which is the GOP standard bearer with a club foot, a tin ear and a glass jaw. Whether this proves a decisive advantage remains to be seen, but it is by no means a negligible one.