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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

You don't call, you don't write

A new, "low-key" Mitt Romney is asking Barack Obama "why didn't you call me" about health care.

Because he didn't have the area code?

Mr. Natural is back.

Wearing jeans (with slightly frayed cuffs!) Our Man Myth is "quietly" working the 2012 campaign trail (followed only by reporters from the Times, Globe and Politico) trying for down home and folksy, tweaking Obama for citing the Mittster's role in shaping the health car reform law.
"If we get the chance to talk about health care, which would be fun, because he does me great favor by saying I was the inspiration for his plan," he said. "If that was the case, why didn't you call me? Why didn't you ask me what was wrong?"
Cute line. Anyone believe it? I didn't think so.

As the "quiet campaign" attests, Romney is benefiting from the bloviation that has marked the GOP debate, whether it is Donald "Birther" Trump, Michele "Don't Know Much about History" Bachmann or Newt "I'm Faithful to My Country if Not My Wives" Gingrich.

Against that field, even Elmer Fudd comes across as thoughtful.

But the problem Romney faces (beyond the Massachusetts health care law and fundamentalists turned off by his religion) is his utter lack of genuineness. While Mike Huckabee could deliver a crack like that with a natural appearance, with Romney it comes across as nothing but a carefully scripted and delivered line of a speech.

There is little doubt that Romney has the best-organized, most professional staff of all 2012 GOP hopefuls -- and is probably the one candidate with the credentials not to be laughed off by Barack Obama.

But as long as the campaign tries to present tightly-crafted stagecraft as flying under the radar screen spontaneity, they will simply be the campaign that tries to hard to humanize a malleable piece of clay willing to say anything and be anyone to snag the White House.

We often heard that likability and firmness of convictions were the major reasons people stuck with George W. Bush, despite his total lack of depth. In Mitt Romney, we see the anti-Bush: flexible positions and someone who tries way too hard to be likable.

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