Friday, January 25, 2008

Is Romney Being Misunderestimated?

I think so. I think he just may have the Republican thing sewn up. Craig Crawford of CQ, who gives me the hibby jibbies, believes that Romney is no joke. I agree. Romney has shown true national appeal by competing in every primary and make decent or winning showings. Now that the silliness of "Do you believe every single word in the Bible?" type questions is over, Romney is now coasting along focusing on change and economics and it wears well. Here's Crawford's take:

Democrats should fear Mitt Romney more than they think. Laughing him off as a
phony Ward Cleaver overlooks the upside of that image.
Like the Dad on TV’s “Leave it to Beaver,” Romney offends no one. You can well imagine him also lounging around the house in a suit and tie dispensing platitudes to errant kids. Most importantly, Romney endures such teasing without a hint of
displeasure – and then goes on being just as goofily unwrinkled as ever. People
like that.

Sure, there are those who gripe about his flip-flops on the “hot
button” social issues, or who cringe at the sight of his creepily rigid strands
of naturally tinted hair. But at the end of the day the man gently smiles with
his head in that slight Reaganesque tilt and says something so benign, so
forgettable and yet so intensely melodious that he lulls audiences into a silent
chorus of head-nodding agreement.

Many times in town halls and other such settings I have watched Romney cast his spell. So much so that back in November I gave him my Trail Mix Stump Award after evaluating the personal appearances of all major candidates on both sides of the political aisles. There is a relentless and somehow endearing efficiency about his campaign style.

Romney puts NY, California, NH, and host of other Democratic strongholds in play. I suppose it would depend on his running mate. But consider this. If Romney picked Colin Powell, they would be unstoppable, unless, Obama was the candidate and he picked a compelling VP. The social conservatives have no where to go and would line up behind a Romney/Powell ticket. However, independents would trip over themselves to get to Powell and, like it or not, Romney quite simply does not repulse Democrats.

Watching Romney in Jacksonville on MLK day with Black folk letting the dogs out and commenting on babies' "bling" is the sort of clueless but endearing type of thing that takes the edge off. I would be wary of Romney.


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