The telling moment when a campaign is lost is when the campaign advisers jump ship and instead of touting their candidate start blaming others. The reason for this is that being campaign staff is now a full time job, and the stench of a losing campaign does not help finding a new employer.
So everyone will know that the Romney campaign has lost once senior staff starts playing the ‘blame game’. That hasn’t happened yet, and is at least several weeks away if it ever does come. But The Dismal Political Economist like to get ahead of everyone so he is now ready to play the game blame for the Romney campaign. If it proves pre-mature, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge.
So where does the blame fall for the current failure of the Romney campaign? Easy question, it falls on Mr. Romney. It is clear that Mr. Romney is running on the issues he thinks are important, and it turns out one of his main issues is not important. That issue is the belief that Mr. Obama is going around the world and apologizing for
America. There are two problems with this. One is that it is not true and two, nobody
See Mr. Romney is still living in 1968. In that year and later,
divided by Vietnam. There were a few supporters of the war, the
equivalent of John McCain and Lindsey Graham today, but most of America was
divided into two camps. One camp opposed
the war and was vocal about their belief that America was wrong. The other camp opposed the war, but adopted
the “my country right or wrong” approach and condemned those who said America was wrong. Mr. Romney was in this crowd. So today he believes not just being against a
“no apology” America
is correct ideology, he believes it is also correct politics because it won Richard Nixon the Presidency. It’s not.
Nobody cares. It's not 1968.
The second issue that Mr. Romney has that dates from 1968 is his economic plan, specifically his tax plan, or rather non-specifically his tax plan. In 1968 Richard Nixon won the Presidency in part with his “secret plan” to end the war in
Vietnam. Voters were willing to accept a ‘secret’
plan, because they knew diplomacy was not something one openly debated. But taxes are not foreign policy, and Mr.
Romney’s ‘secret’ tax plan that sounds implausible is bad
politics. Swing voters are not buying
it. They want details. They have been fooled too often.
And Mr. Romney cannot provide details, it would destroy him politically with all voter groups. So the more he hems and haws and talks about his plan without talking about his plan the more support he loses.
This Forum almost never links to video, but watch the video of Republican Joe Scarborough and his reaction to Mr. Romney’s appearance in
with Paul Ryan. After Mr. Ryan
introduces Mr. Romney the voters chant ‘Ryan, Ryan’ and Mr. Romney has to
prompt them to chant ‘Romney Ryan’ which a few do. Mr. Scarborough does what almost all
Republicans are thinking, he bows his head into his hands.
So currently Mr. Romney has lost the pundit class. But he still has the campaign staff. Let’s see where those folks are in two weeks, and whether or not the poll bounce that Mr. Obama got from the '47% speech' of Mr. Romney wears off. If not, looks for the pros to start pointing fingers, and we think everyone knows which finger we are talking about and who it will be pointed at.