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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Romney Tanking?

What in the world were they thinking?

The grim visual of Mitt Romney speaking in front of an empty football stadium, coupled with his latest foot-in-mouth utterance that "Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually" brings to mind a disastrous photo-op from another former Massachusetts governor turned presidential candidate two decades ago, a mere howitzer blast away in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

Michael Shear and Michael Barbaro of The New York Times mercifully fail to bring up the saga of a third Michael as they chronicle the missteps, avoidable and otherwise, that marred the Romney address: the campaign allowing organizers to choose a behemoth venue for a large event; the power of Twitter and Facebook to change a well-planned message; a candidate given to uttering statements that reflect his 1 percent status.

But the Romney campaign cannot simply finger point every which way. A crucial piece of the puzzle was their decision to leak key pieces of the economic message, leaving reporters with very little to do other than pick apart the scenery.

Romney has proven proficient at throwing millions at opponents to bury them under a storm of negatives. And he has been blessed with large target foes who offer themselves as paragons of hypocrisy of 10th Century values.

But left to his own devices, Romney inevitably lays an egg, exposing a stunning lack of awareness of his own life of privilege.

And that's where he veers off course from his Massachusetts predecessor, a guy whose major failing was an inability to project his genuine warmth and humanity -- and who has never been to big to stoop and pick up a piece of trash from a sidewalk.

Romney's resources appear poised to rescue him in both Michigan and Arizona and he will likely continue to run a campaign against a fictional Barack Obama created by the very same advisers who did nothing to nix the Ford Field venue.

But Romney may well be heading to the same fate as the two Massachusetts Democrats who trod the same path before him. Does anyone seriously want to have a ginger ale with him?

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