Robert Costa at NRO has a great column out today about what the Romney insiders hope their candidate accomplishes in tomorrow’s debate. Excellent reporting, interesting content.
But I am moved to make the same point Jonah Goldberg of NRO made a few days ago:
[T]he Romney campaign is shaping up to be something special. It seems to be part of their strategy never to miss a chance to tell the press why they’re doing what they’re doing. … The Romney campaign is so careful not to distract the voters with actual ideas and arguments — or, heaven forbid, ideology — that it seems at times determined to run on stage directions alone.
Why is anybody inside or close to the campaign coming anywhere near telling outsiders what they hope Romney accomplishes in the debate and how he intends to do it? Unless this is all a clever misdirection play (which I seriously doubt), this lets the Obama team know exactly what to prepare for. It’s as if a head football coach did an interview before a big game and said: “Well, we really want to blitz a lot on defense, because we aren’t really satisfied with our pass rush without the blitz; and on offense, you can expect to see a lot of play-action passes because we want them to think we’re running when we’re really gonna throw the ball…. Oh, and by the way, we’ve also been practicing lots of screen passes.”
Imagine if Ronald Reagan’s team had said in advance of the second Mondale debate that everybody should be looking for a good one-liner to deal with the “age issue.” How stupid would that have been?
If I were Romney, I would send an edict to his entire team that they are no longer allowed to discuss anything about campaign strategy, tactics, “positioning,” or the like. Problem is, once he put out such an edict, the next report leaked through “friendly” media outlets would be about how bold a step Romney just took by ordering all of his advisors not to talk about campaign tactics, and about how they expect the no-tactics strategy to bolster the campaign’s standing with part-time self-employed Hispanics in Colorado……