Is No Drama O’Roma paying off? (Okay, “No Drama O’Roma” is lame but you get the allusion.) Breitbart via Crawdad and Red State both make a good case that Romney is winning, tight polls be damned. After reading the links please come back…
The question to be asked now is – Can the media run out the clock for Obama? Romney’s political accomplishment since the end of the GOP primaries is simple to see: He’s very much in the race. Obama threw the kitchen sink, then picked it up and threw it again. Romney’s still at his throat in nearly every poll. Some of the prog blogs are foolishly telling themselves Obama has the swing states locked up, and therefore the election, but the major Obama media outlets can’t deny that Romney is in the race. This is because Romney really is in the race whether they like it or not.
Is Romney actually winning? I don’t see it. On the eve of the conventions what I do see is a nation with a conflicted and confused middle. Obama has skillfully exploited this confusion. On the other hand, Romney has not fully presented himself as the leader who can get the job done. This is his narrative, but thus far Obama’s been able to yell louder, to muck up Romney’s message, a task made easier by a compliant media.
Obama will not be able to close the second term deal with voters. Ever. He and Axelrod know this. There is no good reason to re-elect Obama. But they don’t need to close the deal. They need to ensure Romney doesn’t or can’t close his deal with voters. So far Team Obama has been successful in running interference. This weeks addition to the pile on – the word extreme. Romney is extreme. This is ridiculous as a stand alone attack. It isn’t alone though. It’s dumped on top of a narrative about devious money shenanigans, ruthless business practices, and an anti-Mormon whisper campaign. Romney’s done okay so far. Not great. Okay. The result: Romney is an eminently viable President, who we may reject anyway for the current and failed one. Romney survived Obama’s August onslaught. Survived being the operative word.
Romney must not only present the deal this week. He must set the stage for closing it as well. When and how is a deal closed with voters? These moments are usually only visible in the rear view mirror. Are you better off than you were four years ago? is one clear example of closing a deal. I’d argue that Clinton closed his 2nd term deal early with his speech at the Oklahoma City memorial service. The speech is largely forgotten, yet it was a seminal and galvanizing Clinton moment. He didn’t empathize with us – he was us. Un-rejectable. His first term deal closer? A debate in which HW glanced at his watch whereas Clinton approached and empathized with an audience questioner. Everything we suspected about HW and hoped Clinton was wrapped into two tiny moments. I’ve yet to see a moment from Romney which says Yes, I want him to lead. Is he capable of producing one? Beats me.