Or, as the Washington Post, company-town paper in the town whose monopolizing industry is politics, prefers to phrase it, “Convention Focus: Romney the Professional“:
BOSTON — Mitt Romney’s advisers are orchestrating a four-day Republican National Convention that is not so much designed to make Americans fall in love with the nominee, but rather to fall in like with the idea of him as the nation’s leader and a uniquely qualified businessman who can fix the economy.
The decision to focus heavily on Romney’s career background and economic policies is a departure from most conventions, which tend to mainly try to build a personal connection between the candidate and voters, especially for first-time nominees. It is also a tacit acknowledgment that Romney cannot win over enough swing voters by highlighting his personality and telling his life story alone
Romney has struggled to connect with voters all year and has been battered all summer by attack ads from President Obama’s campaign. That has put his approval rating at 40 percent, among the lowest of all time at this point in a campaign, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll earlier this month.
With less than three months to go and much ground to make up, his advisers believe that their best bet is to convince Americans that, love him or not, Romney is the solution to their problems. The Tampa convention’s theme — “A Better Future” — which organizers announced on Friday, underscores that calculation…..
Anyone else here old enough to remember the jokes about “Bob Dole. Eat Your Damn Peas, America” in 1996?
Republicans outside the campaign said that, given Romney’s struggles to connect, they agreed with the convention approach.
“It’s a tough road to hoe after all these various attempts to try to make him the Ken Doll Next Door that you want to have over for a pot roast. They tried handing out chili, they tried him without a tie, and I’ve not seen a poll where America says we love Mitt Romney,” said a GOP strategist who has helped orchestrate past conventions and requested anonymity to offer a candid perspective.
But, the strategist added, “I’ve seen a lot of polls where America says this guy seems to have the demeanor, experience, package and skill set to actually cure these outrageous economic problems we’re having. That’s the direction I would take.”….
Shorter Republican strategist: At this point, we’re just cashing the Rmoney checks and looking forward to 2016… or even November 7, 2012.
For months, advisers said, Romney has been pondering what he might say in his speech. He keeps a campaign trail diary on his iPad, and recently on the stump he has been both more contemplative and more open. He is sharing personal stories with audiences of strangers; at a fundraiser in South Carolina this week, Romney talked at length about a nephew with down syndrome, something he has rarely mentioned publicly.
“My sister is one of my heroes,” Romney said, lauding her character, her compassion and her faith in God. “My sister has eight children, the last of which was a down syndrome child…And that down syndrome child, he’s now 42, 43, still lives with her. Alright? She’s 70-something, 75, and she takes care of that 43-year-old down syndrome little boy – big boy now. Just the power of one person to affect and improve the lives of others.”
And in Wasilla a sleeping monster stirs, sensing a great disturbance in the
Farce Force. But seriously, dudes: You want to give the Obama campaign a chance to point out that lots of 70-somethings not named Romney are terrified that they’ll die before their middle-aged still-dependent kids do? You want to stand your blue-eyed veep heartthrob in front of all the world’s media to explain how gutting Medicare and Medicaid is going to “help” these unfortunates, by giving them incentives to choose the best alternatives the insurance industry will be competitively driven (not) to offer?
Romney is also playing a hands-on role in the selection of speakers as well as the stagecraft.
“He’s the kind of guy who makes lots of notes and thinks about this kind of stuff,” Rath said. “It’s going to have his fingerprints.”
And it’ll be the first accomplishment of his life to which Romney will admit having left fingerprints. Hell, there’s some question as to whether the Romneytron 3000 even has fingerprints.
Earlier this summer, aides showed Romney six options for stage designs to let him pick. But Romney, who after overseeing the Opening Ceremonies at the Salt Lake City Olympics fancies himself as having a trained eye for stagecraft, vetoed all six. He sent aides back to the drawing board before finally settling on a design he liked.
Probably not the Romney-selected theme song, but extremely on-topic: