A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Dueling became a favorite past time in days of yore in my home state. In fact, during the War Between the States (It was NOT a Civil War so I will not refer to it as such! See! I Still have some of that old passion left!) dueling became so frequent there was fear that the young men of the state were killing themselves off. So, as a means to bring some sanity back to the hot-tempered society, the local officials set up "Honor Courts" whereby the grievances of the "dishonored" parties could be aired out and some sort of decision rendered that would have both men leave the court room alive. Yeah, it was THAT bad.
So, having come out of a passionate background, I tend to seek out other passionate people with which to associate. Lord knows, I have found many -- especially in the legendary "blogosphere!
I bring this up because I am concerned that the GOP candidate for President, Mitt Romney, is coming across as something of a cold fish.
Hold your fire! This is meant to be CONSTRUCTIVE criticism!
I am assured that Hades, itself, will freeze completely over before I see that in Romney.
It's the passion I miss.
I thought during the primary campaign (and still do) that Newt Gingrich would have been the better GOP candidate to go one-on-one with Obama in a game of wits -- and -- on the debating stage. Of course, Gingrich had way too much personal baggage to win the presidency, but, I gotta tell ya, I'd have loved to have seen him lock horns with Obama!
Somehow, watching a Romney/Obama debate is as titillating to me as a bottle of sleeping pills. I am NOT looking forward to it (them).
Unfortunately, I have to agree with John Daly who said: "In the end, after a bitterly-contested primary, Romney came out on top and secured the nomination. What he hasn’t secured, however, is the passion and messaging it takes to become a strong candidate in the eyes of the electorate." http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/what-romneys-campaign-can-learn-newt-gingrich/
I have to agree with a number of commentators who have expressed their feelings that Obama has made an EMOTIONAL connection to the American electorate, a connection that Romney has yet to make -- and I am afraid -- never will.
I get the feeling as I watch Romney tell us why we ought to vote for him and save the country, that I am watching Adlai Stevenson all over again. Stevenson was smart as a whip -- and as dull as a rusted knife!
Stevenson, was noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent oratory, and promotion of liberal causes in the Democratic Party. He served as the 31st Governor of Illinois, and received the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1952 and 1956; both times he was defeated by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time in the election of 1960, but was defeated by Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Personally, I didn't care for Stevenson's politics but he WAS brilliant! But, Stevenson never made a connection to the so-called "common man." And, as it turned out, he didn't connect very well with folks from his own side of the political spectrum, either.
As an observer of the political scene, I believe Americans actually want to support Romney, and are desperately looking for a connection to the man. So far, they haven't found it.
Asking Americans to vote for Romney because he isn't Obama has just about topped-out. Back in my day as a businessman, we called this the "point of diminishing returns." In other words, the Romney campaign has wrung all they are likely to get out of THAT approach.
Romney desperately needs to show some passion! As we say in the south, he needs to "throw a fit!" Americans are mad as hell right now, and to see Romney mad as hell, in my view, could only help him.
Mr. Daly says he doesn't " ... buy the repeated notion that Romney’s just not that kind of guy when his supporters try to defend his lack of enthusiasm. That’s bologne. I’ve seen the man show some some heart in past debates. I know he’s capable of it. We just don’t see it nearly enough. My guess is that his handlers are worried he’ll come across as angry or condescending if he tries, but that’s a chance I think they’ll have to take."
By and large, I don't think Americans hold Mr. Romney's wealth against him. Heck, we ALL want to be rich! I don't think that strategy will work for Obama.
To be clear, Obama cannot beat Romney. But -- Romney CAN beat Romney.
Romney's poll numbers are hanging right in there with Obama's -- consistently. That demonstrates to me that the numbers are there for Romney to put him over the top, but the voters (who are those numbers) need something from Romney before they will commit. I believe the missing element, the thing the voters are search for in Romney, is PASSION!
Maybe Romney needs to shake-up his campaign team a bit. Surely, SOMEBODY on the team has seen this. If not, then it IS time for a tune-up of the team.
Look. Reagan was known by the electorate as "Ronnie." Bush the First was known as "George." Clinton was known as "Bill", Bush the Second was known as "W." and Romney is known as, well, "Mr. Romney" or "Romney." See the problem?
It really is clear, at least to those of us out here in the hinterlands. Mr. Romney will have the election in hand when Americans begin referring to him as "Mitt." The best way, in my opinion for Romney to win their affection and allegiance is to, well, "throw a fit!"
J. D. Longstreet
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