September 11, 2012

Ham-fisted Mitt

Hard to beat a lede like this: 

I’ve been following politics for many years; I’ve written a book on presidential campaigns and I’ve delved quite a bit into the minutiae of the 2012 campaign. And I’m increasingly convinced that Mitt Romney is the worst national politician I’ve ever seen.

The New York Daily News' Michael Cohen articulates here something I've long thought: that Romney is not a natural pol, is not likeable, and doesn't have the skills -- or diversity of experience, or experience with diversity -- it takes to be an effective presidential candidate, let alone president.  To my view, the biggest reason he's contending for the title boils down to two numbers: 14.7 and 8.3. 

The former refers to the amount of money he spent in Florida to put away Newt Gingrich in the Florida primary, eliminating his last effective challenger. The latter, of course, is the current unemployment rate, the political millstone around President Obama's neck. 

During the primary season, I kept wondering if it was just me, or f the GOP presidential nomination field was the weakest I'd seen since I started paying attention to this stuff. And it seemed that Romney thought the same, governing himself as if he could just walk on stage and seize the nomination in a hostile takeover, then bashing Obama with a hard eight until he succumbed.   

And given the fact that omney was the best choice for the party, he struggled mightily to put away the last two men standing, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich - a pair of has-beens whom voters had run off the national stage years ago. Romney brought them to heel only after dropping a few well-placed money bombs and reminding people he looked more like a president than that black guy does. 

Cohen puts his finger on the heart of the problem - that the fault lies not in the political stars, but in the awkward, gaffe-prone, distant, sometimes arrogant Romney himself, particularly after he criticized the Republican-dominated congress for sequester-deal defense cuts his own running mate, Paul Ryan, supported: 

So what we have is a presidential candidate attacking their own party and their own running mate on an issue that is as much as a political liability as it is a political benefit. That’s our Mitt!

Read Cohen's entire story here

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