Despite What Pundits Say, Romney Still Has Underdog Advantage

From the diaries by Erick

The past few weeks have been chalk-full of conservative pundits voicing their concerns with the Romney-Ryan campaign.

Let’s review.

It began with a POLITICO story citing numerous sources blaming the impending fall of the Republic on Romney strategist Stuart Stevens. Then came the holy trinity of conservative columnists – David Brooks, Charles Krauthammer, and Peggy Noonan – labeling Romney as “Thurston Howell” and his campaign as a “rolling calamity.”

I believe in best of intentions – that these folks want to help the Romney campaign – but the reality is very little of their suggestions or name calling has been productive in righting a ship that is slightly off-course but has all the potential for success.

With less than 50 days until Election Day, it is too late in the game to simply cast blame and expect a staff shake-up will solve all the problems. Frankly, that is ridiculous. Mass firings or any major staff shake-up would be disastrous at this stage of the game; something anyone who has actually run a campaign knows. What’s more, early voting has begun in scores of states and the existing get-out-the-vote plan is already being set into motion.

A heightened level of continuity and stability is needed at “go-time,” and it is “go-time” for Team Romney. There is enough time to make things right with productive advice to win this election, though. This team has been challenged before. They have stuck to their game plan and been successful.

The Romney-Ryan campaign got a jolt of energy with the selection of Paul Ryan as the Vice Presidential nominee because Ryan is known as a serious, conservative, ideas man. They need to recapture this energy, which will force the Obama campaign to debate their failed policies and not the gaffe of the day. Simply put—if voters base their decision on President Obama, his policies, and his performance, Republicans will win.

Ryan is not afraid of putting conservative solutions out into the arena for debate. Agree with him or not, he had the courage to introduce a counter-budget to the political discussion. He wasn’t willing to abdicate his responsibilities as Budget Committee Chairman to a presidential commission – no matter how much the media sanctified anything proposed by Simpson/Bowles. This is leadership, and this is why Republicans and right-leaning independents – for perhaps the first time in the campaign – began to rally around Romney.

But since that initial rollout, the Romney-Ryan Campaign has been plagued by fighting little skirmishes rather than the big battles. On this point, Noonan was right, but her solution to replace existing campaign leadership with a luminary like James Baker, was illogical. The idea that the former State and Treasury Secretary or anyone of his stature will instantly appear and make some kind of magic happen is not within the realm of campaign reality.

All of this does not mean that Romney needs to agree with everything Paul Ryan has proposed, or substitute Ryan’s ideas for his own. Quite the opposite – Romney needs to embrace his own policies and make the case to the American people that it is his policies that will make their lives better. Let the American people hear your vision! It will stand in stark contrast to the vision our current President has for our country.

In the primary, Romney proudly talked about his economic plan. He’s clearly a man who knows what he wants to do to get our economy back on track. So talk about it! Talk about how your tax plan, your plan to reduce regulations, and your plan to move America toward energy independence is better for our nation. Talk about why the Romney Plan will work, because we all know that the Obama Plan has failed.

Yes, Team Obama will slap back. Good! Fight! Show some spark! America likes a fighter, and what’s more, we like an underdog – and, frankly, Romney is an underdog right now.

Americans truly are hungry for a leader now more than ever.

Why does America love Rudy, Rocky, and anyone who plays Duke in basketball? We root for them, cheer for them because the underdog fights, because the underdog has nothing to lose, and because the underdog leaves it all out on the field. America likes an underdog because we were an underdog once 235 years ago, and we won!

Mitt Romney needs to leave it all out on the playing field. All the pieces are there for victory. Contrary to what the smart people in Washington say, Romney has good people around him. Romney has the policies and vision to make America a better nation. The key is putting that puzzle together.

There still is time to win, but we are in the fourth quarter. It’s “go-time” for Team Romney, so it’s time for the right to stop the sniping and get moving! Victory is ahead…and so is a better country. Let’s make it happen.

Nick Ryan is the founder of American Future Fund.