Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Political campaigns live in search of the perfect metaphor, the one defining (I almost said unshakeable) image that captures a candidate, or an opponent, in voters' minds. It seems that Mitt Romney has gone out his way to help us find the perfect metaphor, but none of them--his wife's couple of Cadillacs, his delight in firing people, his dog abuse, his 15% tax rate, his love of right-sized Michigan trees--quite captured the man. Until today, when one of the candidate's senior advisers--someone who knows the candidate better than almost anyone--managed to find exactly the right tool to describe Mitt Romney. For the rest of the campaign, it seems inevitable that at every Romney event, the candidate will be followed (I almost said dogged) by troublemakers bearing red plastic toys.

Sure Romney's defenders will try to argue this was no big deal. Every candidate, Democrat or Republican, tacks toward the center after the nomination contest is over, to try to win over the critical moderates and independents. But in Romney's case there was always something more than that going on. There was always the sense that you never knew where the guy really stood, that he would say anything to get elected, that he could turn himself into a blank slate at will on which to write something new for today's purpose, that he is making it all up as he goes along. Now, fair or not, we finally have the visual image we've been searching for to capture that uneasy sense in the minds of much of the electorate. And what could be even worse for Mitt Romney is that now he will have to spend the rest of the campaign trying to prove that he will stick to positions that are unpopular with large segments of the electorate. Otherwise, any deviations will prompt the derisive epithet. Sorry Mitt, you can run, but you can't hide from the barrage coming your way.


  1. Anything for the journolists. Gas prices will innoculate Mittens.

  2. Classic post. I giggled all the way through it. Romney can't stand prosperity. He continues to undermine himself. He reminds me of Obama and Pelosi. Blunder after blunder.

    Please let me know if you laughed as much as I did during this and what Nancy meant in this Orwellian and creepy appearance:

    1. I didn't find anything Pelosi said to be creepy or Orwellian at all. I don't know what you are talking about, and as usual you have veered off into a completely irrelevant tangent from what my post was talking about.

      How Romney reminds you of Obama or Pelosi I also don't understand at all.

  3. The topic is Romney, his current and past history of etch a sketch as an analogy of remaking himself to suite favorable winds. I agree. I recognize it well. As you know, no one ever did it better than Bill Clinton. That is part of politics for some candidates. I might add, I have a lot of respect and affection for Bill and Hillary Clinton. I would vote for Hillary Clinton for President today. Re-read that.

    Obama is also an etch a sketch kind of guy. That may not feel good but it is true. I don't have time to list it all and you don't want to read it, let alone digest it.

    Today he said "Solyndra is not our program per se".

    On the XL pipeline, first he blamed stopping it over the environment and now he is blaming it on congress. As I very recently predicted, he would okay part of the pipeline for political expedience. Unfortunately, there is no straw from Canada to Oklahoma. I know poker play when I see it and I will admit (Mitt) it. Will you?

    On Pelosi -- I wouldf like to withdraw my view that what she said was funny. It is not funny. I have legitimate concern for her. No need to say anymore.

    1. Actually the topic was metaphors, so I guess that explains I thought you were off topic and you thought you were still on the topic.

      The rest of your logic I fail to follow. You admire Bill Clinton even though he shifted his position with the winds, and you think Obama does the same thing, but in his case you think that is not forgivable. I also don't see any contradiction in the president's statements on Solyndra or on the Keystone pipeline. It happens to be true that Solyndra was part of a program authorized by Congress, and it also happens to be true that approval of the pipeline was delayed by the State Department for a year for environmental reasons, and then Congress forced the State Department to act within a deadline that State had already told Congress it could not meet.

      Nancy Pelosi, you don't like her, fine. She happens to have been the most effective Speaker of the House in my lifetime. Too bad she only had the post for four years. I hope she gets it back.

  4. I am not as emotional about politics to the point where I “can’t forgive” someone or “dislike” them. I am about who can get the job done. America has a lot to get done. Obama is doing the best he can with what leadership skill he has and who he has to work with.

    He is more likeable than Bill Clinton was; and certainly more charming than Hillary. But he and his team have become gridlocked and less effective. We could blame the less effective last two years on the do nothing congress. But if we do that he must accept some responsibility as that congress was the result of the 2010 losses which were in a large part, the result of the way Obama, Pelosi and Reid passed health care reform.

    Whatever the reasons; they don't change the fact that he would be still more ineffective with the new House and Senate next year that are most likely bound to become more Republican. As you reminded me in 2008, we needed a President and Congress that could work together at the time. He had a Democratic Congress for a couple years and got things done. Realistically, there is only one way that America can have that kind of opportunity from 2012 to 2014 and it doesn't include President Obama. It doesn’t have anything to do with forgive or dislike. It's not about emotions.

    As far as Pelosi, she was a powerhouse. But I don't think she is healthy. I hope I am wrong.

  5. It would be nice if Congress and the President had a better working relationship. But whether they do or not, Obama must still be re-elected, otherwise health care decisions are going to be turned back over to the insurance companies, the banks will be able to run rampant again, and the rich will get even richer at the expense of the poor. From the Republican point of view, this year's election is critical because it is the probably the last chance they will ever get to undo the Democrats' agenda, particularly health care reform. Even the dim Michele Bachmann understood this perfectly. This year's election is not in any way about letting the government function better so that the government can get some kind of needed program in place that America needs to get done. The Republicans don't have such a program, unless you think that restricting abortion, destroying Medicare and Medicaid, and lowering taxes is a program.

    If you do not understand this, then you do not understand what this year's election is about at all.

  6. I understand very well what the election is about. I'll just remind you, the Progressive points of view and the "dim" Michele Bachman are polar. The other 70% of Americans think both extremes are off base. We think change is essential; and that has nothing to do with abortion, destroying Medicare and Medicaid or just the rich getting richer. We feel Obamacare was misconceived and that wonderful parts of it should be in place. Personally, I think Roberts will lead a bipartisan decision by the Supremes to uphold the Affordable Health Care Act. Somrthing like 6-3 or 7-2. I don't like it but I will live with it.

    But it's as if the far left and far right live in a science fiction movie that only they can see. It doesn't have to be doomsday or saved. That's unhealthy. The pendulum swings and we will be okay. That's the way our system works. This isn't Lord of the Flies.

    I am sorry if it felt like I attacked you personally. I try to avoid that. I have a lot of respect for you, Joe.

  7. I can live with the pendulum swinging back and forth once in a while, just not for at least another four years. The gains that have been made need more time to solidify.

    And I appreciate your apology, but it was unnecessary. I do not feel personally attacked. However, you should understand that anytime you start suggesting that the president does not deserve re-election, I will attack your arguments without mercy. Because this site's primary mission in life right now is to support the president's re-election. And if you are a fan of the blog, you should respect that. If you want to raise counter-points, fine, but then you should understand that I am going to treat you like a punching bag because that suits my mission in life right now. It's not personal.

  8. That's fair. I have never felt like a punching bag. Maybe sparring. Politics, at the either extreme, is a lot like name calling; if we take name calling peronally we probably agree with some part of what others have said about us.