Watched Romney’s ‘big speech’ tonight in New Hampshire. I’m glad to report he’s taken my notes. He did not whine. He was not a rich business man griping about how no one understands how hard he works…while golfing. All in all, the speech telegraphed the bulk of Romney’s general election campaign strategy. In a word: Reaganesque. It’s not Morning Again in America, but: A Better America Begins Tonight.
Optimism will prove to be a good response to the Obama team’s thrust so far: Those people are monsters. Obama and Axelrod need a narrative, a vision of their own. So far they haven’t bothered with one. This must change if Obama wants to win. The Romney on display tonight won’t win by a landslide, but he will win if we glide toward November sans black or brown swans. It’s anyone’s guess what a positive Obama narrative would be. But one must exist….somewhere. It’s going to be very difficult to morph Romney into a three-headed, fascist monster. Again, this is a plan to secure votes Obama ought to already have. I suspect we’ll get an Obama vision for the next four years soon.
I remained surprised about the weakness of Obama’s campaign. He’s in a worse position than Carter was in April of 1980. And the economy is not as obviously bad now as it was then. Americans are not being held hostage by a foreign government.
Obama’s weakness is curious. It’s as if he learned nothing from 2010 (You alone are not enough, sir.) or his own campaign in 2008 (No matter what come from strength, and say something about hope.) Romney looked like a president tonight. Obama was on Jimmy Fallon.
The caveat: Just because it feels like 1980 doesn’t mean the result will be the same. The class warfare meme is more potent today. Romney is not Reagan. Obama is not Carter. Obama’s true game I tagged as a ‘checklist campaign’ earlier this week. Molding demographic specific messages is far more advanced than it was in 1980, and Obama’s campaign is on the vanguard. Is it enough? Don’t know. I do know it’s going to be a much more interesting race than the last one.