Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Romney Responses: REALLY, Mitt?

I want to write about a couple of other things--but today's news preempts them. I'll limit myself to two: RomneyResponse and ... the RomneyCare Response. One is an example of things he's doing right and the other is an example of things he's doing wrong (or "wrong," depending on who you are).

Romney Response
RomneyResponse is a tumblr feed (which is essentially multi-media Twitter) which lays out Team Romney's talking points for the day. Romney has an up-hill battle against the main-stream-media either because he is (a) an anamatronic robot or (b) because he is a Republican. I report: you decide. In any event, this is a clever solution--it allows all the blogs following it to, if they choose to, get the word out--and get Romney's preferred message out on whatever is going down. As it's Tumblr, it's fast-moving and instant. If properly leveraged (and stuffed with the appropriate anti-Obama / pro-Romney messaging--which it probably is) it represents a new-media solution to campaign communications. Well done!

The Other Romney Response
On the other hand, the best messaging system in the world won't do you any good if your messages do you more damage than the other guy. Romney was just hit with a below-the-belt ad which we just discussed: Understands. In addition to pretty much being a total lie, the Obama campaign made some hard-to-believe evasions and it's reasonable to believe Team Obama was on the defensive. Then Team Romney comes out with this (Andrea Saul is his spokeswoman):
Saul said that Spotic and his deceased wife, who passed away from cancer in 2006, would have had access to health care coverage under Mitt Romney’s controversial universal health care coverage plan he passed as the governor of the Bay State.
Indeed, Romney himself may have agreed:
Romney says healthcare needs reforms, "and I have some experience doing that, as you know"
Needless to say the blogs are howling:

From RedState:
The Moment All the Doubts About Romney Resurfaced on the Right Then the Romney campaign decided to sabotage itself with a mind numbingly bit of spin that may mark the day the Romney campaign died.
Conservatives have put aside their distrust of Romney on this issue in the name of beating Barack Obama. They thought he and his campaign team had gotten the message and the hints. Consider the scab picked, the wound opened, and the distrust trickling out again. 
About the only thing more stupid in terms of building bridges with the right would be to say something nice about fetal stem cell research.
And then again:
Housebreaking Romney: The Importance of Being Vocal
No one doubts we must beat Barack Obama. No one doubts Mitt Romney is the only vehicle with which we can beat Barack Obama. But I doubt we can if the Romney camp makes unforced errors and those errors — not being vocal about those errors — shake the fragile truce conservatives have with him in the name of beating Obama.

Are we sufficiently close to the election yet that we’re obliged to give Team Mitt a pass on this purely in the interest of defeating Obama, or is there still time left to wrist-slap him for touting a deeply problematic statist health-care expansion? If the answer is the former then I’m not optimistic about holding his feet to the fire from the right once he’s elected.
And David Frum applauds:
Agrees Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul. Not only is the new Priorities USA attack ad factually false and morally outrageous, but in making the case for severing insurance from employment, it makes the case for Gov. Romney's most important achievement.
What Do I Think?
 Frum tweeted that the Romney campaign was like WWI battle cruisers: all gun and no armor--and then that RomneyCare is what turns the battle cruiser into an armored battle ship. If the argument were to center around whether or not that guy should've had health care or not, Frum would be right: if you think he ought to have had it (indeed, apparently his wife did have it from her job until she got hurt and laid off--but let's stick to the "I got fired and lost it narrative") then maybe it would make sense.

But clearly that's not the conversation the base wants to be having so why is Romney having it? For a guy who is (a) supposedly a real pro and (b) using next-gen methods to get his messaging straight, what happend? Does Andrea Saul not get Tumblr on her iPhone?

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