Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will seek to offset federal aid to victims of a massive tornado that blasted through Oklahoma City suburbs on Monday with cuts elsewhere in the budget.> more ... (0 comments)
Try as I might, I sometimes can't help feeling sorry for poor Mittens:
[A]pparently because he is something of a masochist, [Mitt Romney] went to CostCo, inviting mocking comparisons to Old Handsome Joe Biden, who recently pushed a cart around at the very same discount warehouse chain for the good of the economy.
If we get serious about what it means to vote, we immediately go to the notion of an informed voter. [Y]ou go all the way to voting as a wise choice. That would be a true voter. The others are all lesser voters. They’re just indicating a belief, or a whim, but not making a wise choice. That’s probably because they’re not wise.
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This is really quite funny, though I should mention that I have argued semi-seriously in the past that Romney ran for president in 2008 as a member of the wrong party. Assuming that he only was running to be president, and that no other particular policies mattered to him, the smarter political move for Mitt Romney to have made in 2005 would have been to switch parties and run for president as a Democrat on the basis of his unique experience implementing a universal health care system, and pledging to do the same nationwide. The contrast with Hillary Clinton, who conspicuously failed to do the same thing, would have been notable. What’s more, he would have had an intriguing narrative: a moderate Republican who was (theoretically) outraged by Bush’s policies and attitude of intolerance, who then bolted parties. I think there’s reason to think this pitch would have been effective since one of the more desperate tendencies of the left during the ’00s, when confronted by the reality of an utterly hapless Democratic opposition, was to build up/fantasize about Republicans finally deciding they’ve had enough of Bush and his arrogance and incompetence and standing up against him. This played a part in McCain’s transcendent popularity, at least for a while. Romney could well have been the incarnation of this trend. No doubt there would have been some serious qualms about his business record and personal history in progressive circles, but it’s not hard to imagine him making a much more competitive race against Clinton/Obama/Edwards than against McCain/Huckabee that year. Having executive experience when none of the three top Democrats did would have set him apart, and he could have smacked down Obama’s opposition to the mandate far more effectively than Clinton ever did.
While this idea is sort of kind of fun to think about, I think it pretty clear by now why it couldn’t have happened: Romney does, sadly, actually have some values. Mitt Romney might actually have been able to be an effective Democratic President, if he’d handled the party switch smoothly. Certainly it would have been a cleaner path than reversing himself on every issue, renouncing most of the public policy positions he’d ever taken, and then pandering insincerely and often ineffectively for six years to try to run a party that is, well, really not worth running at this time. But he wanted to be a Republican President, and his off-the-record comments to fundraisers provide some easy-to-interpret hints as to why he wanted that.
Here’s Mr. Cold Hard Data for you:
Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons. The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks – not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan – bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.
They thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time – poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats – and that would translate into votes for Romney.
As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.
Forgive me for finding this incredible. Romney was sold (and sold himself) for years as a guy who was obsessed with data, only cared about data, after all that’s what he did in his business career! And in the end, his campaign’s analysis was all about intangibles like momentum, enthusiasm, energy. The data had to take a back seat.
To be fair, this is human nature. The unwillingness to face up to dire situations, to try to escape into more comfortable fantasies, is universal (if unequal) in human beings. Still, it’s notable now that Mitt Romney’s political career is at an end, that he every bit the mediocre politician everyone pegged him as. Four times he went before the voters as a candidate for office. Three of those times he lost. At no point does it appear he worked to improve at his deficiencies–his 2012 primary campaign wasn’t any better than his 2008 campaign, it only was waged against weaker opposition (and he barely squeaked by this time). And the only legacy he leaves behind is a mammoth pile of lies, deceptions and distortions that my guess is are unequaled since the final campaign of Richard Nixon. I know that popular sentiment holds that all politicians lie, which is to true because all people lie. But it’s always worth noting that politicians that lie, cheat, steal, and intrigue as a matter of course are simply bad politicians. There are people in all fields who do those things, and for the same reason: they’re not good enough to earn it on their own. Mitt Romney is a world-class liar because he simply doesn’t have the capability to lead. America wisely turned his bid down, and we can all be thankful for that.
Guess who this person is talking about:
“A political narcissistic sociopath leveraged fear and ignorance with a campaign marked by mendacity and malice rather than a mandate for resurgence and reform. Instead of  articulat[ing] a vision for our future, [he] used it as a vehicle for character assassination, replete with unrelenting and destructive distortion, derision, and division.”
If you thought: Romney, nope, that’s Mary Matalin talking about Obama. Sheesh; Rovianism incarnate.
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