Mitt Romney’s speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday had two purposes: first, he wanted to demonstrate his conservative credentials, which it would seem that he did not practice as much as most thought over the last four years, and second he needed to prove he could relate to the conservatives in the country.
The two things Romney stated that I found to be so interesting, and a complete farce was:
Now what in the world does he think he is doing, the vast majority of the people who have reservations about Romney have them because of his authenticity. How does this help his case, when in fact all he is doing is insulting the intelligence of those who he needs to win over?
The conservative activist around the country know that Romney has not always been conservative, but what really seem to be a mistake is that he is trying to tell people he was indeed one of them during moments in his life that he was not one. To be fair, a conservative Republican would find it hard to win in Massachusetts if that person ran as a conservative, but that begs the question: why would he run in a blue state if he were indeed a conservative.
Instead of having to try to convince conservatives that he is one of them, he could have gone a different path and been himself; Right.
That is the problem, most people already feel Romney was being himself then, and now he is being what he needs to become president. Alternatively, maybe it is the other way around, he was pretending then, and now he is trying to show people whom he really is. It really does not matter, because what he did, as governor is the very thing that so many conservatives are angry with President Obama over.
It is funny that the pundits are even asking if Romney can attract conservatives, because I think it is clear that they do not want him to be the nominee. In the end he may be, but it will be only because the opposition against him were unable to become organized enough to beat him and push back the establishment narrative that Romney is the only choice.
Romney had everything he needed to run away with this thing: the next in line, the money, the campaign team, the support from the establishment, and the clean cut look. The simple fact that he has not run the board attests to his weakness as a candidate.
In addition, Romney is not making this any easier for those pushing him.
Mitt Romney stated last Wednesday that he supports indexing the minimum wage to inflation, which would guarantee that it is raised almost every year, shows how he lacks the conservative compass that would be vital to any true economic recovery.
Romney is not going to be the person who grew up poor, and made his own way in the sense that some others did, but he does not have too. Republicans do not begrudge success. However, when he gives speech after speech claiming that he understands what it means to struggle, well it is hard for anybody to take him serious. Yes, his father worked his way out of being poor, but that does not give the son the perspective of the plight of the poor. Nothing Romney says to the poor of this nation is going to make that fact go away.
Romney would be better off just going with the electability argument, and explaining the reason, he has spent the majority of his elected career passing a liberal agenda. He would be better off explaining that his wealth gives him a unique perspective on how wealth is created in this country; because no one is buying he understands what it is like to face losing his job, and the prospect of falling short of the resources needed to take care of his family.
The longer team Romney tries to convince everyone he understands them, the more difficulty they are going find. This election needs to be about what we are going to do to fix the economy, not about who is going to fix it.
That is the problem in Boston right now; the team cannot decide who Romney should be. This is just not going to work with conservatives who already know what they do not want.
If he does not learn to do this, I think there is another candidate that is going to be able to make that electable case, at least according to the polls.