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June 26, 2012

Actual Time Magazine Headline: "One-Note Mitt: Is Romney Too Focused On The Economy?"

A commenter mentioned this meme being pushed, which I hadn't heard before. I said if they were trying that, it was stupid and desperate.

They are trying it,though (link to Breitbart, with an excerpt). Full Time article here if you want to give them your business.

Mitt Romney One-Note Mitt: Is Romney Too Focused on the Economy? By Michael Crowley | @CrowleyTIME | June 25, 2012 | +


However the Supreme Court rules on Barack Obama’s health care law this week, it’s still the economy that will likely determine the president’s fate—or so Mitt Romney’s campaign says. The presumptive Republican nominee’s advisers call the election “a referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy.” With almost comical discipline, Romney steers virtually every topic back to Obama’s economic record. In a speech to Latino leaders last week, for instance, Romney dodged some key immigration policy questions while harping on Obama’s failure to create more jobs: “Is the America of 11% Hispanic unemployment the America of our dreams?” he asked. “Why would you talk about anything else,” one prominent Republican recently asked NBC News. And perhaps it’s as simple as that.

But what if it’s more complicated than that? Two recent presidential elections are remembered primarily as referendums on an ailing economy that cost an incumbent his job–Ronald Reagan’s 1980 defeat of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton’s win over George H.W. Bush in 1992. But while we remember the defining slogans, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” and “It’s the economy, stupid,” both those contests were more complicated in ways that should give Barack Obama some comfort.

You know what I'm in the mood for? A nice tall glass of Even Reagan Wasn't As Stupid or Single-Dimensional As This Charlatan.

[R]eagan’s campaign wasn’t singularly focused on Carter’s economic record. Reagan extensively blasted Carter on foreign policy (including the Iran hostage crisis and alleged weakness against the Soviets in Afghanistan and elsewhere). He depicted the President as wimpy in general, proclaiming that “There is a leadership crisis in America.” And he peddled a vigorous anti-Washington message (“Get the government off our backs”) that fired up both Goldwater conservatives and blue-collar Democrats.

Ah, thank you. That hit the spot.

Part of this is attempting to pressure Romney to stop playing his high cards and play his middling cards instead. As a wise man once said about taking advice from your enemies: "Don't."

But the other part of this is just Kool-Aid drinking. They want to convince themselves that Obama's in the catbird seat -- partisans always want to gin up other partisans with enthusiasm, of course -- so a lot of the article is just for liberals, telling them, for the millionth time, that supposedly Obama has this huge edge on likability and that's what will swing an election as an economic depression engulfs us again.

I've noted this before, but will say so again: When people settle on a candidate -- which hasn't yet happened for 8-10% of voters -- they begin saying the candidate they prefer is superior in all ways. For example, when Obama was winning in 2008, polls said people thought he was better on health care, understanding the problems of ordinary people, and other such Democratic stuff.

But they also claimed he was better on terrorism, taxes, and the deficit.

This is makes no sense, until you realize that people who barely care about politics also do not care much for parsing between different secondary questions. Once they've answered the primary question -- who do I support? -- this block of voters simply answers all other secondary questions the same way.

Romney will win this election, and when he does, his likability will be higher than Obama's. Because when the swing block swings, they'll just say Romney is better in all ways.


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posted by Ace at 03:40 PM

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