The numbers don’t look so great for Romney right now. No matter what the spin is out there about a close race, this race isn’t close if you go state by state, as the Obama campaign figured out long ago.
It’s sort of like when you break up with someone because you just don’t trust them, and after you break up with them they prove you more right than you could have imagined.
Romney has never been a good candidate. Not only was he never loved by his own base and not only did he have to steal wins in the primaries, but he has completely changed what he stands for in the interim. He’s a constant and chaotic rewrite that his own campaign couldn’t keep up with.
Romney never did release his tax returns (we got bits and pieces of two years of amended returns or returns they admitted were manipulated to pay more in taxes). He never did do the math for his Bush on steroids tax plan. He was outed as holding half the country in contempt. He made Sarah Palin look like a knowledgeable candidate on his summer foreign relations disaster tour.
Romney won’t give interviews or answer questions. During his entire summer of gaffes tour, he only answered 6 questions from the press. His campaign shut down all that “access” when the candidate proved his own worst enemy.
Then he deployed his wife Ann as his “secret weapon” only to learn that her whining and imperial attitudes rendered her a weapon of mass campaign destruction. Who can forget “this is hard” as Americans starved or her suggestions that her husband had sort of served in the military by living lavishly in Paris while others died in the war he actively supported.
There was “Russia is our number one geopolitical foe” and putting words in the Australian Foreign Minister’s mouth in order to attack Obama. Romney managed to get the Palestinians and the Israelis to agree on one thing: He is a racist. That was after he insulted the British and left England in a flurry of humiliating headlines best remembered for their scathing beat down of his clownery. He was compared unfavorably to Sarah Palin and called a twit. Crowds mocked him.
Then we got Romney’s binders full of women, general misogyny, “if she’s going to work” tells and him standing by the man who said pregnancy from rape was a gift from God. Not cool. There was his Obamacare slur that got him booed by the NAACP. His busing in of black people to attend that rally. His fear of the ladies on The View. His temper tantrums like the one he aimed at the poor Univsion producers.
There was his failure to mention the troops at the convention and then the doubling down that he mentioned what was “important.” Still wondering why he doesn’t do interviews anymore?
Oh, and Romney’s greatest achievement this cycle — lying so dangerously about auto production being moved to China that he forced GM and Chrylser to correct him on the record, over and over and over again. He’s still telling that lie.
So it should be a given that seeing a potential fail on the horizon, Romney and his surrogates do what Republicans have come to do best. Blame others. They never look at their policies or candidates and think, gee, maybe we got it wrong. Nope.
It’s always everyone else’s fault. And so Chris Christie is being threatened that if Governor Romney wins, he won’t forget (nice mafia tone to that one) the betrayal of Christie helping his state and praising the President for a job well done for the people. So unfair of Christie to refuse to aid Romney in his delusions of grandeur. Doesn’t Christie know what really matters in this world? This is hard, Governor!
And Sandy. Who knows what revenge the GOP has planned for Sandy for screwing them over so. Others lost lives and property but Sandy will be best remembered in Republican land as the unfair stealer of toys for the boys.
According to a PPP poll, Romney’s favorable ratings dropped by a net 7 points in the aftermath of Sandy, while Obama’s rose 6 points. While there’s no way of knowing if that drop is related specifically to the storm, perhaps instead of having a “relief” campaign rally staged with props as Sandy ravaged New Jersey, Romney could have acted presidential, even from the sidelines. Obama did it in 2008 when the financial crisis hit. Then candidate Obama proved himself worthy of leading by rolling up his sleeves and putting the country first.
Sandy wasn’t destiny for Romney. He could have asked the Red Cross what they needed and set about really trying to make that happen instead of posing with canned goods the Red Cross said they didn’t want. He could have praised Christie and Obama and demonstrated his alleged bipartisanship. He could have taken the high road, but then, this is Mitt Romney.
There were options open to Romney that he chose to ignore. No, it wasn’t ideal for him as the challenger, but he could have made it work. Instead, he chose to make cheap shots from the sidelines while complaining about Chris Christie not being his bestie anymore. Maybe if Romney had treated Christie with a modicum of courtesy after he knew he was picking Ryan as his VP, Christie would have felt his loyalty had been returned. But no. Romney left Christie hanging. Another bad decision from Romney, but more than that, an indication that he doesn’t know how to build consensus and loyalty.
If Romney manages somehow to make magical math happen on Tuesday, surely he will take all of the credit. But should he fail, he will take none of the blame. That, in and of itself, should prove he’s unfit to lead.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.