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December 04, 2007

It's The Slickness, Stupid

Hugh Hewitt asks:

Given all the hits Huckabee has taken in the last four days, the question becomes: Where will the folks who drop him move their allegiances?
That's a funny question to ask, because I can think of several more appropriate questions at this stage of the game. For instance:

1. How can Romney fans expect their guy to win the nomination, let alone the general election, when he's going backwards in the polls? In what possible spin universe is a slip from third to fifth in the national polling a good sign for the Romney campaign?

2. Why should I believe that Romney will catch fire once America gets to know him when three weeks ago nobody knew who Huckabee was and they both used the same forum to introduce themselves to us, i.e. the debates? Isn't it time to admit that Romney just isn't able to sell himself to Republicans?

3. If Romney can't sell himself to Republicans, even with the right message, how can we expect him to win the middle third of voters, the independents, whose votes win and lose elections?

4. How is it that Romney, the management genius, can spend so much time and money in Iowa and yet be in a statistical tie with a guy who's spent next to nothing, whose campaign team is supposedly third rate, and who's supposedly not even a real conservative?

5. When will Romney fans stop crying about "religious bigotry" and admit the real reason Romney is such a dud: The Slick Factor?

Romney is in trouble. And no, I don't believe religious bigotry has anything to do with his apparent collapse. Sure, there's people out there who won't vote for a Mormon just because he's a Mormon, but I can't believe they're more than a handful. I certainly haven't met any. I have much more faith in the goodness and good sense of the majority of Republican voters than those who are so quick to ignore Romney's obvious lack of appeal and pin the blame on some non-existent anti-Mormon hysteria.

If Romney still aspires to be anything beyond a one term governor he's going to have to do more than tell us his views on "religious liberty." I don't really care about his opinion on that subject. What I care about is this: can Romney present himself as anything other than the consultant robot he's been in every debate I've seen so far.

We know Romney can buy and sell corporations. Can he sell himself? So far the answer has been a definite no. He says the right things, he's right on the issues, but nobody's buying it. Like Hillary, he's got a perception problem. But unlike Hillary there are still a lot of people, like myself, who are open to being convinced. Romney just needs to figure out how to sound genuine, instead of an overly focus-grouped consultant's idea of what a conservative candidate should sound like.

It's important that Romney figure this out, and soon, because he may just be our only hope. As much as I love Rudy, I have serious doubts about his electability, because there are just too many vulnerabilities in his past. And I'm sure Hillary's team has already mapped out their narrative against Rudy for next fall. They'll leak a scandal a week to their buddies at the New York Times and CNN. It won't matter if the scandals are real or imagined, as long as they reinforce the narrative they will have created. Tough as Rudy is, I don't know if he can survive the onslaught that's waiting for him.

Romney's squeaky clean image, in theory, should immunize him from any Clintonian Swift Boat strategy. Hopefully Romney can learn how to fight back against the Hillary machine without committing the Lazio error, and without curling up into a ball like he did when McCain dressed him down the other night. But the most important thing Romney needs to do is figure out how to make himself likable, and he needs to do that now.

Posted by annika, Dec. 4, 2007 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


It isn't so much that he buys and sells corporations that shocks me as it is that he doesn't "sell" them so much as he breaks them up, sells the pieces, throws a bunch of folks out of work and rolls up the carpet on company towns. And what shocks me about that is that none of his idiot competitors has pointed that out yet!

When are those jackals going to understand that they aren't campaigning on Wall Street or the fucking Sunset Strip? Iowa and New Hampshire aren't exactly high finance burgs and a messenger like that suntanned ghoul are lethal. Who doesn't think that the Democrats won't sell that message about Mitt in states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania pretty persuasively.

Forget the fact that Romney is a whore in a Brooks Brothers suit, regularly repudiates things that he swore by just last week and was sired by a presidential candidate who was brainwashed by the U.S Army.

If by some fluke that mutant gets the nomination the Democrats won't be able to control themselves on going populist and killing the GOP in the midwest, the border states and with independents.

Having said all of that, Huckabee has his own set of problems. Firstly, he only wins with people who prefer the unborn to having something stupid, like a job. Plus, while I happen to agree with him on immigration, 98% of the party doesn't. Plus, he's trying to out-McCain McCain on foreign policy, which only makes him look stupid.

Instead of nominating Huckabee, you may as well exhume Alf Landon and run him.

Also, Giuliani annoys me greatly.

That is all.

Posted by: skippystalin on Dec. 4, 2007

My trick knee tells me that you like Romney, but that you're frustrated by his, as you say, "slickness factor".

Irf so then I am the same way. I have no response other than that I was very impressed with his debates with his Democratic opponant in his campaign for governor.

Maybe what we too readily recoginze as "slick" is simply an ability to think on one's feet.

Maybe not. I dunno.

I like Mitt. I'd vote for him in a heartbeat if he was the nominee. I'm a former "Fred Head". (Former, not because he's wrong about anything, but because he opted to play the "I don't really want to but I'll do it" card. If you don't have the passion for it, forget about it.

I'm not completely happy with any of our contenders but I'm a Rudy guy at this point.

Of all the contenders it's only Rudy, Fred and McCain that seem to have any balls. (And McCain and I disagree on at least two very important issues.)

Pardon my rambling. But, in my opinion, Romney is not slick, he's polite.

Posted by: Tuning Spork on Dec. 6, 2007

I was leaning his way for a while, then one day it hit me. He's a cake-eater born to wealth. Normally that wouldn't immediately disqualify him with me. However, I was listening to him on FOX in an interview, and the guy is disconnected from the pain that government brings into our lives. He's never suffered through an IRS audit. He's got accountants for that. He doesn't have to endure the indignity of modern air travel. His coach awaits!

Now any guy who has to juggle the books to go out to the Hamptons to get a piece of ass from his girlfriend... he has an understanding of the travails of life in these times. Rudy is just more connected. So, for now, I lean towards, as the GF dujour likes to say, "The Cheater". Whatever... she'd stand in line to suck on Bill, and readily acknowledges the dissonance in her thinking.

Posted by: Casca on Dec. 11, 2007

I call it the "Ken" factor. Damn if he doesn't remind one of Barbie's boyfriend.

He was taped in a heated discussion off mike and off camera last week with an interviewer who he thought was out of line. I believe that if he coould can that and duplicate the attitude and the emotion, he could break out of the Ken mold and take off.

Posted by: shelly on Dec. 11, 2007