Monday, April 16, 2012

Kimberly Strassel in the Wall Street Journal Advises Mr. Romney to be More Like Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry . . .

Wait a Minutes, Weren’t They the Losers?

In the Saturday Wall Street Journal there is the column of Peggy Noonan, the sometimes (but not always alas) clear and coherent voice of Conservatives.  In the Friday Journal is the comic stylings of Kimberley Strassel, whose writings are always good for at least a couple of laughs.  This week she outdoes herself.

First of all though, in a rare burst of clarity Ms. Strassel does identify the problem of Mr. Romney.

The biggest test ahead for Mr. Romney will be whether he can define a grand purpose for his presidency in a clear and compelling way.

But this immediately gives way to laughable fantasy.  She begins by saying Mr. Romney can learn from Herman Cain.

For inspiration, he can look to Herman Cain. His lesson was that it isn't enough to talk about the economy; a winning candidate has to present big, bold, pro-growth solutions. Mr. Cain's 9-9-9 plan had flaws, but it appealed to Americans in its freshness and its daring.

Of course the flaws being that it was totally unworkable and totally unreal, and as far as appealing to Americans, it primarily appealed to our sense of humor.  And then she moves on to Newt Gingrich.

Speaking of big and bold, he could also study Newt Gingrich. Mr. Romney is fond of poking Mr. Gingrich about moon colonies, but at least the former speaker has ideas. Voters were drawn by Mr. Gingrich's notions to replace the EPA, and he pulled out a Georgia victory in part on his vision for harnessing 

ignoring that the overwhelming number of voters were actually repulsed by Mr. Gingrich’s ‘big ideas’ the best of which apparently was to colonize the moon.  And Mr. Gingrich won Georgia only because he represented the state in Congress.

Then there is Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered pointers on one way to enthuse an unconvinced base: states' rights. 

And if Ms. Strassel can find even Republican voters enthusiastic about Mr. Perry after he made his first statements, well, she has sharper eyes than the rest of us. As for Rick Santorum,

Mr. Romney owes thanks to Rick Santorum for exposing his biggest liabilities, in particular his lack of contrast with Mr. Obama on key issues. The obvious example is Mr. Romney's Massachusetts health-care plan, the model for ObamaCare, which the candidate has yet to own up was a mistake.

exactly how a candidate is helped by having his liabilities exposed is not entirely clear.  But notice that Ms. Strassel still wants Mr. Romney to apologize and turn his back on health care.  Yeah, that’s a winning argument.

But the fantasy gets even better.

Finally, from Ron Paul—who is still plodding toward Tampa—Mr. Romney can learn the value of demonstrating principle.

Do we need to remind Ms. Strassel that the principles of Mr. Paul include eliminating the Federal Reserve System, ending all government regulation and adopting a policy of anti-civil rights.  Notice that Mr. Paul is ‘plodding toward Tampa’ which is an intermediate stop on his way to oblivion. 

Sorry Ms. Strassel, but the reason Mr. Romney is the nominee and not the group of losers you seem to admire is that he is smart enough not to be them.  

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