What will be Romney’s appeal if economy improves?
If you take away Romney’s economic message, what will be his appeal to Independents and Republicans in this election? Mark Steyn offered this parody of a Romney stump-speech line:
“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”
That’s not exactly firing people up. If the economy should suddenly improve right before the election (and it very well could happen as you’ve written before), what will be Romney’s appeal if he’s been ignoring all the cultural issues that many Republicans care about?
Other than in debates, in which he generally speaks cogently, I have not heard his speeches. Are they really as vapid as that?
I find it hard to believe that the smart Romney makes no better arguments than brain-dead Bob Dole in ‘96, whose main argument for his own election was, “This is Amuhrica!”
I haven’t heard his speeches beyond the debates either, so I guess we must take Steyn’s parody with a grain of salt.
However, if we just focus on Romney’s actual campaign message, he talks at length about the economy and jobs and how he’s the right man to turn it all around.
Has he addressed any other issues that conservatives care about, such as activist judges for instance?
I recall last year that the GOP said that social issues (immigration, same-sex marriage, etc.) should not be mentioned in this election. But if the economy improves, what else will there be to run on?
The blogger at Ricochet has listened to Romney’s stump speech and here’s what he has to say:
Why is Romney’s Stump Speech So Bad?
I’m going to search for any Romney stump speeches and see what I think.
Ben Domenech · Jan. 23 at 7:21am
The takeaway I had from the past few days in South Carolina—besides falling in love with Charleston all over again—was that Mitt Romney’s stump speech is really, really dull. It is completely divorced from local issues, and could be given by any candidate, from any party, in any state. It also has imagery and callbacks that manage to be patriotic without being interesting. Romney’s delivery has improved since 2008, but his words simply haven’t. They might even have gotten worse.
Here’s a speech (part 1, part 2) by Romney in San Antonio last September to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. While I have not felt that Romney was boring in the debates, I have to say that he is boring in this speech. There is sort of a vacancy there, though his basic message, that a strong America is the best guarantor of peace, is true.
Also, for a smart man, for him to keep saying that “career politicians can’t solve our economic problems, only a businessman can,” which is virtually the main line of his campaign, is just stupid. It’s insulting to our intelligence for him to keep saying that the mere fact that he is a businessman means he knows how to solve America’s economic problems, and that all politicians are unable to solve our economic problems, by the mere fact that they are politicians.
Here’s Romney’s New Hampshire Stump Speech. It’s 14 minutes long. The first six minutes and the last four minutes have the worst lines in my opinion. In the first six minutes he mentions America and jobs frequently:
“This is not the America I love.”
We need to “save a vision of America.”
We have a “choice of two very different destinies: the invisible boot of government to bring us down versus an America united by our ambitions, hopes, and shared dreams.”
“We can do better because I believe in America.”
“We need to restore America to founding principles: among them, the pursuit of happiness (opportunity).”
“We’re Americans. We’re bigger than Obama’s failures.”
The speech starts to get better at around 6:20 when he talks about the entitlement society and Obama’s mistranslation of Teddy Roosevelt.
At 7:28 is the best point when he says, “It’s more than a spending crisis we face. It’s the fundamental corruption of the American spirit. This is a battle for America’s soul. Who are we as Americans?”
Then at 10:00 he starts to tell us what he’s going to do, but he focuses on the economy, Medicare and the budget. Nothing about the cultural issues that affect America.
At 12:53 are some very vapid lines:
“We believe in America. We believe America can do better because we believe in America and tonight I ask each of you to remember how special it is to be in America.”
Last Line is even worse:
“This election let’s fight for the America we love because we believe in America.”
So overall, Romney’s solution to the “corruption of America’s soul” is a better economy and a balanced budget. I don’t think this is enough to inspire many Independents and socially conservative Republicans.
Also, based on the speech, I would say that Mark Steyn’s parody of Romney is not that far off.
James N. writes:
A brief comment, taking into account everything on the site in the last ten days. Romney won’t do. Not as a representative of the rank-and-file of the party, not as an opponent for Obama, not (likely) as President. The “businessman as savior” political theory has failed over and over again.
This is because government is not a business. There are some skills that successful businessmen and successful politicians share, but there are many more areas of competence in which they differ.
The President who takes office in January 2013 will face, among other things, a gigantic political mess. The Democrats have not passed a budget in 1000 days. The parties no longer share goals for the nation. The Republican “leadership” has almost nothing in common with their voters. And so on.
The notion that anyone OTHER than a master politician will be able to master this mess is ridiculous.
I accept the proposition that Gingrich may not do. Please consider the possibility that Romney will not do, either.
Have you seen all the critical things about Romney I’ve posted and said myself in this discussion over the last few days? I have not been pushing Romney. I’ve been considering every angle pro and con G., pro and con R. Take a look at the site.
James N. replies:
Yes, I have been on the site a lot. My mind has been on other things. I think you have been quite thorough in covering both R. and G.
I also pleased we are in agreement about Santorum. I am perplexed that some social conservatives appear to believe that his election is a possibility.
Lou C. writes:
This Yahoo article well describes the Romney mantra, “Above all else, the Romney campaign has one ethos: Our candidate will fix the economy.” Isn’t Mitt coming across as a one trick pony?
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 24, 2012 02:29 PM | Send
And yet as this article goes on to state, Romney’s economic plans are vague and short on detail:
“But on some of the toughest economic challenges of the day—housing, taxes and spending—Mitt Romney’s economic plan is missing key policy details. And months on the campaign trail haven’t filled the gaps.”
The Romney syllogism is:
“I have worked in the private sector. It takes someone from the private sector to fix the economy. I will fix the economy.”
That is his premise and promise—yet short on specifics. [LA replies: It’s not just short on specifics, it’s meaningless.]
“Like many politicians, Romney falls short when it comes to naming specific budget cuts that back his ambitious goals for cutting back on federal spending.”