Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two Words Explain Why Mitt Romney Lost – Mitt Romney

What, You Were Expecting Something More Complicated?

The airways and newspapers and internet are filled with opinions from all sorts of pundits on why Mitt Romney lost the Presidential race.  The most popular explanations involve the Hispanic vote, or the social issues or hurricane Sandy or the operations of the Romney campaign.  This ignores Occam’s Razor, the simple answer to the question of why Mr. Romney lost is Mr. Romney.

A center/right Republican could have easily defeated Mr. Obama.  Deep down America is a center/right country, embracing Liberal policies only when the need to do so is so great that those policies cannot be ignored.  Health care reform was one of these, where total abdication by Republicans resulted in a very poor policy and very complex law being enacted under the guise of something is better than nothing.

Mr. Romney could have brought his health care expertise to the table.  But instead he brought confusion.  He said he supported outright repeal of the Obama plan, but wanted to keep some of its features.  He said he had a replacement plan, but never told anyone what it was.  In short, he had nothing.

On taxes Mr. Romney could have set forth a plan that had credibility.  But he was afraid that specifics would doom his campaign.  Instead lack of specifics doomed his campaign.  What was there to vote for?

With respect to his personal finances, Mr. Romney came across as arrogant and condescending on releasing his tax returns.  The idea that his 14% tax rate is fair is just ludicrous, and had he released his returns and combined that with real tax reform he would have gained huge support.  Instead he came across as “Stonewall Mitt”.

The social issues tripped up Mr. Romney, not because he supported them but because he would not take a position.  He said he opposed restrictions on contraception availability, but then supported the right of businesses to withhold contraception benefits in health care plans.  He embraced “personhood” policies although he apparently had no clue that the position contradicted his other positions, or that the policy was so unpopular it lost even in Mississippi.  His opposition to gay marriage and civil rights protections for gay and lesbian Americans put him at odds with the shift in public opinion and at odds with his own previous positions.  He said he was “highly conservative” but also that he was a moderate.

In choosing Rep. Paul Ryan as a running mate Mr. Romney violated a critical rule in American politics, that Americans do not believe a member of the House is qualified to be President.  Even a Governor of Alaska has more Presidential credentials than a member of the House.  Mr. Ryan lost his home state, and in his campaign for re-election to the House he lost his home city.

The real Mr. Romney, though, is a bitter, delusional person who blames his loss on the 47% that live off government benefits and are ‘bought’ by the Democrats and the President.

In a conference call on Wednesday afternoon with his national finance committee, Mr. Romney said that the president had followed the “old playbook” of wooing specific interest groups — “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people,” Mr. Romney explained — with targeted gifts and initiatives.

“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said.

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” he said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”

The president’s health care plan, he added, was also a useful tool in mobilizing African-American and Hispanic voters. Though Mr. Romney won the white vote with 59 percent, according to exit polls, minorities coalesced around the president in overwhelming numbers — 93 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Hispanics voted to re-elect Mr. Obama.

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge,” he said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

This is about as shocking and disgusting view of the American public as one can find, and if anyone had any doubts about the outcome of the election, Mr. Romney’s own words confirm the fact that no, this man did not have the compassion, the understanding, the basic decency to have been elected President of the United States.  It confirms that when Mr. Romney abandoned and blamed the 47% he was not just positioning himself with large donors, it is what he truly believed.

In short, Mr. Romney lost because there were no core beliefs, no core strengths, only the belief that he had a right to be President and that like any good salesperson he could tailor his positions to whatever was required at the time, regardless of his past positions.  He was truly an embarrassment to the profession of politics.

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