Romney Needs to Throw A Fit
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
As a southern boy from South Carolina I'm a passionate fellow. Back
before revisionist got hold to American history, the state of South
Carolina was famous, or infamous (depending upon your location north or
south of the Mason-Dixon line.), as a passionate state. Sandlappers
were first to secede from the Union and the only seceding state in which
the vote to secede was unanimous!
Dueling became a favorite past time in days of yore in my home state.
In fact, during the War Between the States (It was NOT a Civil War so I
will not refer to it as such! See! I Still have some of that old
passion left!) dueling became so frequent there was fear that the young
men of the state were killing themselves off. So, as a means to bring
some sanity back to the hot-tempered society, the local officials set up
"Honor Courts" whereby the grievances of the "dishonored" parties could
be aired out and some sort of decision rendered that would have both
men leave the court room alive. Yeah, it was THAT bad.
So, having come out of a passionate background, I tend to seek out other
passionate people with which to associate. Lord knows, I have found
many -- especially in the legendary "blogosphere!
I bring this up because I am concerned that the GOP candidate for
President, Mitt Romney, is coming across as something of a cold fish.
Hold your fire! This is meant to be CONSTRUCTIVE criticism!
I am assured that Hades, itself, will freeze completely over before I see that in Romney.
It's the passion I miss.
I thought during the primary campaign (and still do) that Newt Gingrich
would have been the better GOP candidate to go one-on-one with Obama in
a game of wits -- and -- on the debating stage. Of course, Gingrich
had way too much personal baggage to win the presidency, but, I gotta
tell ya, I'd have loved to have seen him lock horns with Obama!
Somehow, watching a Romney/Obama debate is as titillating to me as a
bottle of sleeping pills. I am NOT looking forward to it (them).
Unfortunately, I have to agree with John Daly who said: "In the end,
after a bitterly-contested primary, Romney came out on top and secured
the nomination. What he hasn’t secured, however, is the passion and
messaging it takes to become a strong candidate in the eyes of the
I have to agree with a number of commentators who have expressed their
feelings that Obama has made an EMOTIONAL connection to the American
electorate, a connection that Romney has yet to make -- and I am afraid
-- never will.
I get the feeling as I watch Romney tell us why we ought to vote for him
and save the country, that I am watching Adlai Stevenson all over
again. Stevenson was smart as a whip -- and as dull as a rusted knife!
Stevenson, was noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent oratory,
and promotion of liberal causes in the Democratic Party. He served as
the 31st Governor of Illinois, and received the Democratic Party's
nomination for president in 1952 and 1956; both times he was defeated by
Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. He sought the Democratic presidential
nomination for a third time in the election of 1960, but was defeated by
Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Personally, I didn't care for Stevenson's politics but he WAS
brilliant! But, Stevenson never made a connection to the so-called
"common man." And, as it turned out, he didn't connect very well with
folks from his own side of the political spectrum, either.
As an observer of the political scene, I believe Americans actually want
to support Romney, and are desperately looking for a connection to the
man. So far, they haven't found it.
Asking Americans to vote for Romney because he isn't Obama has just
about topped-out. Back in my day as a businessman, we called this the
"point of diminishing returns." In other words, the Romney campaign has
wrung all they are likely to get out of that approach.
Romney desperately needs to show some passion! As we say in the south,
he needs to "throw a fit!" Americans are mad as hell right now, and to
see Romney mad as hell, in my view, could only help him.
Mr. Daly says he doesn't " ... buy the repeated notion that Romney’s
just not that kind of guy when his supporters try to defend his lack of
enthusiasm. That’s bologne. I’ve seen the man show some some heart in
past debates. I know he’s capable of it. We just don’t see it nearly
enough. My guess is that his handlers are worried he’ll come across as
angry or condescending if he tries, but that’s a chance I think they’ll
have to take."
By and large, I don't think Americans hold Mr. Romney's wealth against
him. Heck, we ALL want to be rich! I don't think that strategy will
work for Obama.
To be clear, Obama cannot beat Romney. But -- Romney CAN beat Romney.
Romney's poll numbers are hanging right in there with Obama's --
consistently. That demonstrates to me that the numbers are there for
Romney to put him over the top, but the voters (who are those numbers)
need something from Romney before they will commit. I believe the
missing element, the thing the voters are search for in Romney, is
Maybe Romney needs to shake-up his campaign team a bit. Surely,
SOMEBODY on the team has seen this. If not, then it IS time for a
tune-up of the team.
Look. Reagan was known by the electorate as "Ronnie." Bush the First
was known as "George." Clinton was known as "Bill", Bush the Second was
known as "W." and Romney is known as, well, "Mr. Romney" or "Romney."
See the problem?
It really is clear, at least to those of us out here in the
hinterlands. Mr. Romney will have the election in hand when Americans
begin referring to him as "Mitt." The best way, in my opinion for
Romney to win their affection and allegiance is to, well, "throw a
J. D. Longstreet