Charlie Cook is right on target this morning in criticizing the messaging and tactics of Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Only in the last few days has the Romney campaign begun buying any time in swing states on local cable systems, something the Obama team has been doing for months. While one campaign has been looking for every nookand cranny to reach votersand has been doing so for some time, the other didn’t bother until after the conventions. Go figure.
The Romney campaign made the extraordinary decision to not try seriously to connecttheir candidate with voters on a personal level untiltheir convention. As dubious as that decision was, they were rewarded by having a convention shortened by a day due to a hurricane, then compounded the error of waiting until the convention by putting much of what was most needed to be seen in the 8and 9 p.m. hours, when the only viewers would be C-SPAN fans. Wow! The biographical filmand the testimonials of people whose lives had been touched by Romney were powerful, necessary,and largely unseen. Instead, the Romney campaign treated them to the Clint Eastwood debacleand a serviceable speech by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida that should have been made earlier, not chewing up precious broadcast airtime.
Meanwhile, I have a column out today at The American Spectator that predicts a narrow win for Barack The One Obama. But it’s close enough that Romney could turn things around — if he starts running a smarter campaign:
Now, how can Romney pull off the victory anyway? By mobilizing discrete groups of voters who might be unexcited or might wish a pox on both parties, but who will be motivated to turn out (rather than stay home, or go hunting, or whatever)and vote for a candidate who shows commitment to a particular issue stance.
Taking a page from Newt Gingrich’s playbook, Romney could easily identify such issues where a clear majority of voters agree with conservatives.