Interesting to see all the recriminations over who is to “blame” for Mitt Romney losing the election.
Was it all the ugly things Obama said about him? This very newspaper’s editorial page says so, but I beg to differ — to believe this one has to believe that Mitt Romney was somehow saddled with only being able to run ads that were pure as driven snow true and un-challengable, while his opponent was free to lie and throw dirt.
We are expected to forget that Mitt didn’t get 19 “Pants on fire” ratings for his ads and statements, meaning blatant lies, while Obama’s seven somehow overshadow that.
No. both sides fired a lot of slime, and Mitt fired more. To accuse Obama of being that big bad bully just doesn’t wash.
Then there’s how Mitt ran his race. Huge story in the Washington Post (click) pondering the timing of his various stances, his performance in the first debate, the strategy of his political advisors and on and on. There’s so much finger pointing going on someone is going to lose an eye.
Could have had something to do with it. Hard to say, but I’ve always suspected that the power of this sort of political manipulation to move large crowds of people loses its force in a situation like a major campaign.
The ads come so fast and furious that people are numb after a while, although Romney’s ad about Jeep production going to China was so egregious, so blatant, I cannot get past believing it really hurt him in Ohio. People are not stupid.
Glenn Kessler, the fact checker at the Washington Post, has an interesting look at the ad situation here (click). If Romeny’s ads were not as effective as Obama’s, it certainly isn’t for lack of trying, however.
Romney’s forey into Pennsylvania a couple days before the election smelled of desperation, as did his silly canned food drive photo-op campaign event. If Obama really did use Hurricane Sandy to corral Gov. Christie into helping his campaign, well, politicians always like to say that the best campaign tactic is to do a good job at what you are elected to do.
It became awful hard for Romney to hammer Obama on his poor performance as President amid pictures of Obama hugging storm victims and Christie giving the guy high fives. Meanwhile, there’s Romey with a can of soup.
All those things add up, but the biggie is that the GOP base, the rock solid foundation of the Romney campaign, is fighting against a demographic shift in this country that there is no way to avoid. Romney got a vast majority of white voters, but white voters are a declining percentage of this country’s population mix. That shift is neither good nor bad, it just is, and the GOP better figure that out.
The party is searching for tokens — Mia Love and Bobby Jindel? — but the faces at its last convention were a sea of white, no way around that. Which is odd — there are gay and black and female conservatives, maybe it’s time for the GOP to quit taking small-minded sides in issues that drive those groups away. Why does anyone who is gay vote Republican? Might as well slap yourself. Even Dick Cheney, whose gay daughter has married her partner, is in favor of gay marriage. Why should his daughter be driven away from her father’s party?
The party needs new blood. All those old folk wandering around Tea Party and GOP rallies wearing tea bags on their hats and swinging flags and copies of the Constitution are very fervent, and very angry but they’re also –like the vast majority of people who still subscribe to newspaper print editions — old, getting older and not being replaced.
Obama’s campaign workers specifically targeted young people, poor people, minorities and others. It paid off. Hispanics in this country are growing as a percentage of the whole. In not too many years — isn’t it by 2030? I dunno — the white population will dip below 50 percent and stay there.
Of course it helped that the extremist whackos in the GOP, as I said election night, forced the party to select politicians who those whackos favored, or to adopt positions that they favored to keep them happy.
Those positions, which Romney was more than happy to espouse during the early debates, came back to haunt him with a vengence, usually in the “attack ads” that are now considered to have been so unfair.
The vast majority of American voters are not extremists. They’re moderate to conservative, they resist change, they want things to go well without huge disruptions. They have a gut-level resistance to messing with their neighbor’s morals. They want the garbage collected, the streets paved and kept clear, the lights on and the bills paid.
They’re kind and want their government to reflect that. They, as I, are thoroughly sick of the politics of extremism and hate.
The sooner the Republican party figures this out, the better we’ll all be. If they do that, and nominate Jon Huntsman in 2016, they may even have a chance at winning.