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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Mitt Romney's Desperation

Over at his blog at Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi writes that the presidential race is pretty much over, Obama's won, and everyone's pretending otherwise for their own reasons. The media takes the blame for wanting the ratings/newsstand sales/hits generated by the tight race narrative, according to Taibbi, but obviously the campaigns themselves benefit -- Team Obama is probably worried about complacent voters and Team Romney's motivation should be obvious. It's probably overstating the case by a few orders of magnitude, but at this point it feels pretty accurate -- especially when you think about the scattered reports of a Republican mood of doom and the fact that the phrase "Romney's narrow path to victory" is fast becoming a cliche.

But another cliche is "[insert period of time here] is a lifetime in politics" -- in this case, between now and November. This cliche is pretty much true. A lot could change between now and then. Unfortunately for Romney, a lot of those changes are in his positions. Romney's need to tell every voter exactly what they want to hear has him tying himself in knots and engaging in pretzel logic.

Huffington Post:

Despite his 2008 call to "let Detroit go bankrupt," presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Monday that he would "take a lot of credit" for his impact on the U.S. automobile industry's comeback.

During an interview with WEWS-TV in Cleveland following a campaign stop, Romney said his views helped save the industry.

"I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy," Romney said. "And finally, when that was done, and help was given, the companies got back on their feet. So I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back."

This is, of course, completely insane.


Steve Benen tears Romney up:

[E]ven by Romney standards, this is just laughable.

The former Massachusetts governor -- the guy who said we should "let Detroit go bankrupt" -- predicted that we could "kiss the American automotive industry goodbye" if Obama's policy moved forward in 2009. Indeed, at the time, Romney called the administration's plan "tragic" and "a very sad circumstance for this country." He wrote another piece in which he said Obama's plan "would make GM the living dead."

We now know that Obama was right and Romney was wrong. We now also know that Romney wants "a lot of credit" for the same Obama policy the Republican said wouldn't work.

And let's not even get into the claim that Mitt's so influential that he only needs to comment on an industry to save it.

This is just the Etch A Sketch stuff happening. Romney's staking out nearly every position possible on nearly every issue in an attempt to appeal to everyone. This isn't the strategy of a man confident in his chances; this is the strategy of someone who believes they're going to need every vote they can get. Let's not forget that this barely got him through his party's primaries -- or that all indications are that the Republican National Convention won't be the hitchless coronation Team Romney would like it to be.

So, if you happen over to Rolling Stone and you read Taibbi's piece, you're still probably going to want to consume it with a grain of salt. But it's still closer to reality than anything Mitt Romney has to say.


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