WED AUG 15, 2012 AT 08:00 AM PDT
Crying baby
Mitt Romney, today.
Mitt Romney was never truly tested during the primaries. He ran an exclusively negative campaign, refusing to spend a dime justifying his own existence in the race. Rather, he had his cast-of-clowns opponents systematically felled by the Super PAC funded by his gazillionaire donors.
It is now August, and Romney tried the same tactic—over $100 million has been spent by the conservative Super PACs attacking President Barack Obama, yet the president has remained resilient in the polling. Perhaps more damaging, Romney has been stuck in the low 40s in key battleground states. His personal unpopularity has acted as an anchor around his neck, preventing him from making real gains against Obama.
Then, with the press in a frenzy over his refusal to release more tax returns, and with a conservative base ready to revolt at his convention over his sudden defense of Romneycare, it was clear that Romney was close to the breaking point. Thus, the bizarre and poorly craftedrollout of the Paul Ryan VP pick.
Yet rather than earn him some breathing room in the campaign and a nice honeymoon, the reception has been cold at best. Sure, there's been a smattering of puff pieces about Ryan's body fat composition, but the coverage has been more focused on the facts that Romney has moved to the Right rather than the center, that he had to pacify an increasingly hostile base, that Ryan endangers GOP advantages with seniors, that his presence on the ticket is a nightmare for downballot Republicans, and that his budget gives Democrats a treasure trove of material with which to attack.
Indeed, in the last several days, half the questions Romney has gotten have been along the lines of, "Where, exactly, do you disagree with the Ryan budget?"
Romney is on the breaking point. He's already had to cancel campaign appearances (though not fundraisers!) because of exhaustion. He's used to being surrounded by yes-men who tell him he's wonderful. Now that Obama fellow (and even critics on his own side) has the temerity totalk about him!
The president's campaign has put out a campaign that's talking about me and attacking me. I think it's just demeaning to the nature of the process, particularly when we face the kinds of challenges we face.
It's so demeaning to elections to have candidates talk about each other! Of course, it wasn't demeaning when Romney accused Obama of not being American. That part was as perfectly all right as was insulting the British prime minister, the cookies at a campaign stop, and the ponchos worn by NASCAR fans. That's just Mitt being Mitt (IOW, a dick). But to have other people talk about you? That can't stand!
Thus Romney is on his epic hissy fit today, frazzled and, yes, unhinged. It's only mid-August, and he's already lost his composure and spewed crazy shit.
People who are winning don't act like Mitt Romney is currently acting. If you want to see how winners act, just look at President Barack Obama.