GOP Death Watch

Mitt Romney Reassures America He’s Not Obama. In Case You Hadn’t Noticed.

How many campaign strategies does Mitt Romney have?

Originally, he argued that Obama was a nice guy who let everyone down. Then Romney’s campaign decided to focus solely on the economy and not about anything else. Then the campaign went all dog-whistle with its completely untrue welfare message (and you know who we’re really talking about there).

On Thursday night, Romney went back to a version of square one, talking at length about the abiding disappointment that Mitt just knows everyone feels about Barack’s performance.

“If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama?” Romney said. “You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.” At another point, Romney said, “I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed.”

Of course, the reason Obama hasn’t succeeded quite yet on reviving the economy (he’s done almost everything else well) was because Republicans made sure he didn’t. Not only did Bush W. hand over an economy on the verge of another Great Recession, but The party made an open and conscious effort to present a united front against Obama on the premise that Obama’s successes would diminish the Republicans’ chance to reclaim the White House this year. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was blunt about this strategy: In 2010, he said of the party’s Congressional objectives that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” The best way to do that was to studiously ensure that everyone in the party voted against anything Obama proposed, because to do otherwise was to make the bill bipartisan.

The added advantage was that the Republicans could then claim that Obama was ineffective and divisive because he was unable to unite the parties. This is the strategy Romney is counting on. It’s a little bit like cutting the hose when your house is on fire and then blaming the fire department for not saving the house.

So if you don’t think Obama has done a good job, well, guess who that leaves? Mitt did his best to present himself as a capable businessman, after months of not talking about his business experience because of the Bain taint. (Creative destruction in the market is a lot easier when you’re the destroyer and not the destroyed—except when you’re running for president.)

He presented himself as a full believer in women because he hired them. He also tried to humanize himself by talking about experiences in his own humble background, like the time his mother ran for U.S. Senate. We can all relate to that.

What Romney didn’t give us much of was details on how he would do a better job. The technical term for this is “policy,” which Romney’s campaign has been amazingly light on. Instead, Romney promised not to have the same grand vision of hope and change that Obama promised. This is probably the first time in recent memory that a presidential candidate touted having a more narrow vision than his opponent. And, of course, he made the obligatory Republican nod to the religious right, condemning same-sex marriage. (While Obama “evolved” on the issue, Romney actually has been busy backsliding.)

So the Republicans leave Tampa on a middle note. The party wandered all over the message map during its truncated get-together, and Mitt re-introduced yet another theme at the very end. (The disappointment theme will quickly be replaced by a no-lies-barred attacks soon enough.) Yet the polls remain tantalizingly close, so victory is possible.

The question remains whether Romney can pull it off. “I’m not the other guy” isn’t the most compelling campaign slogan. In business terms Romney needed to close the deal in Tampa. Unless you’re a diehard fan, it’s hard to conclude he did.

Photo by Gage Skidmore


Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #politics #election2012 #gopconvention stories and more


  • hf2hvit

    After that clown show, any gay person who would vote for that is self-loathing proof that misery loves company

  • MickeyP.

    If “TWITT” wins,kiss all our rights and hard work goodbye.

  • jeff4justice

    The 2party system charade of poverty, war, and erosion of civil liberties is disgusting.

  • niles

    For the first time in our history, a political party has intentionally tried to sabotauge economic growth and to keep unemployment rates as high as possible in their respective states – all for blatant political gain. America is in grave danger of losing its last vestiges of a democracy. The Republican Party is also engaged in widespread voter repression nationwide. Where is the outcry against these treasonous activities? Welive in very frightening times.

  • maryclab123

    I noticed that Ryan, in joking about his and Romney’s choices of music, did not mention one of this favorite bands, Rage Against the Machine. AC/DC and Led Zeppelin? No American bands? Are we on the Highway to Hell or the Stairway to Heaven?

  • Neo

    @niles: This is the same republican party that kept their own citizens captive abroad to win an election, they are scum.

  • Triple S

    I suppose Obama is God and Mitt is the Devil?
    Media likes to propagandise a lot of stuff you know? Don’t believe EVERYTHING you hear and see.

  • Triple S

    Also, @hf2hvit, I don’t appreciate being called ‘self-loathing’, I care about other things AS WELL AS gay issues, and some non-gay related issues are more important than them.

  • niles

    @Triple S: such wonderful things as making the poor just a bit poorer and punishing your own kind for the sake of the almighty dollar. No, you are not just self-loathing but have a genuine disdain for people in general. The Republican Party is evil and dangerous.

  • Spike

    Starting with the fact that President Obama is not involved in a religion that requires that he wear magic underwear and openly discriminates against gays, blacks, or any minority. Nor does the President have a wife that refers everyone who is not white and rich as ‘you people’.

  • MiamiPrep

    @Triple S: Thank you! I think I’m a pretty content person. It’s just philosophically I don’t like financial irresponsibility. I have NO debt. My mortgage is paid off, I pay cash for my cars & I pay off my credit cards each month. Why would I want anything less from my government? I’m pro-abortion, pro-gay rights… But the budget deficits & financial shortfalls in Medicare & Social Security will have a much greater effect on my future than those things.

  • MiamiPrep

    @Spike: Yeah, Reverend Wright was such an uplifting, loving person. Religions can’t really be examined too closely. Do you think Joe Biden believes that when he takes communion that he is eating Christ’s body & drinking Christ’s blood (transubstantiation)?

  • isis-gold

    Romney has a PLANE! Ryan has a PLANE! Check out this website:

    I don’t know about the rest of the country, but I really cannot relate to a candidate that owns his own plane and a running mate that just recently bought one, when we are living in a time where many people are trying to find money to put gas in their car to take them from Point A to Point B. What exactly are these two going to do to change the situation so that we can all own planes, or at least be able to buy a plane ticket, or maybe just gas for our cars? It looks like Romney is spending money even before he gets a chance to sit in the president’s chair. Oh wait, that seat’s already taken. Oh wait again, Romney is spending his OWN money…isn’t he? After all, Romney has it to spend anyway he wants. A lot of it! How many of us can relate to that? Especially those who have lost jobs due to people like Romney sending those jobs abroad.

  • paulahare2

    NO GOD —- AND Obama 2013

  • mujerado

    @jeff4justice: Yeah, but it’s what we have. Either we use it or we don’t. I plan to use it.

  • mujerado

    @Triple S: Yeah, some things are “more importan” than equality. Your pocketbook among them, right? If some of us don’t have equality, none of us do.

  • LadyL

    @niles: Yes, exactly! If the political positions were reversed, the Republicans would be screaming TRAITOR from the rafters!
    It is the definition of hypocisy that Romney, Ryan and rest dare to critcize President Obama’s “performance” when from DAY ONE they moved to block every single thing he has tried to do to rescue the economy and help the middle-class and the poor, the sole objective being to kill his chances of re-election and permanently take over the House and Senate. It speaks volumes about how low the GOP is prepared to go that they were willing to throw their own constituents–the people in their own districts who voted for them–under the bus to achieve those ends.
    And the saddest thing of all is that their efforts appear to have had the desired effect. Christ only knows how many pod people are preparing to vote against their own interests in November, thanks in part to a complacent mainstream press so obsessed with appearing “unbiased” (and apparently so fearful of GOP push-back) that they leave it to liberal commentators or Democrat/Independent politicians to call bullshit.

  • Rockindad

    @maryclab123: Excuse me, but I believe Rage is a totally American band.

  • Rockindad

    @MiamiPrep: Let’s see, just who created the huge majority of the current deficit? George W. and friends. And, who is the last (and only) president to ever pay off the deficit and actually create a surplus. You know it was Clinton. George immediately gave it back only to run up the largest deficit in HISTORY. So much for “Republican financial expertise”.

  • Triple S

    @mujerado: Actually, I’m only 17, so I don’t have a shitload of money to be stingy about. I’m simply being practical. Equality is not going to come overnight, even if someone promised it. It just won’t.

    Live in the now and real

  • Neo

    @Triple S: So you’re a kid, with no world experience and you think these people are reasonable. You will grow out of it son. If you think I’m patronising now you should keep posting this drivel.

    You should spend less time listening to your conservative teachers and more time looking at the facts of the situation before commenting.

  • nwilsontaylor comment #13…Joe Biden is a liberal Catholic, so you are correct..he probably doesn’t believe in transubstantiation just as he does not believe in most of what the Catholic Church teaches.

    And let’s put the record straight (excuse the pun). The Obamas have money and PLENTY of it as well as an enormous home in Chicago in an exclusive neighborhood. They send their 2 girls to the exclusive Sidwell School. They have been rich for so long that THEY need to give some of THEIR money to …well…me for instance since I’m poor.

Comments are closed.