Quin says my rhetorical suggestions for Romney would only help so much. Quite so. One Ricochet member asked, in response to my post, if I could come up with a speechmaking salvo that could save Romney from the taint of his misbegotten Massachusetts healthcare experiment. My response: “As Romney found during his time in the private sector, some turnaround jobs are too much for anyone to salvage.”
I’ll just add one factor to Ashton and Quin’s delineation of Romney’s liabilities: he seems unable to connect with voters. This is a man, remember, who was won only one election in his life–and even that occurred in the context of a three-way race where Romney was unable to win a simple majority. As I’ve argued in a previous column, Romney is bedeviled by many of the same shortcomings that hindered John Kerry’s presidential bid: patrician aloofness, a sense that he’ll say or do anything to curry favor with the electorate, and a total lack of the capacity to inspire.
I’ve feared for some time that 2012 will be a mirror image of 2004, with a weak incumbent squeaking by a challenger who earned the nomination by seeming slightly more viable than the other candidates in a mediocre field. Unfortunately, that’s starting to look like exactly how this race is playing out.