Monday, February 6, 2012

"The Other Guy" is winning for the Republicans

Mitt Romney is winning the Republican nomination.  He is trying to become "The Other Guy."  

If the election is about Obama, The Other Guy will either win or lose depending on how things are going for Obama in November.  Romney's biggest strength is that he is a generic Republican, the kind that often beats Obama in polls.  When they ask about Obama vs. specific Republicans, Obama wins because most specific Republicans are disliked for particular reasons.  But when asked about Obama vs a generic Republican, Obama often loses depending on how the country is feeling about the country, the economy, Obama's leadership, etc.  Since most of what Romney says is not believed anyhow, he morphs into the generic Republican, becomes The Other Guy, and has the best chance to defeat Obama in November.

All that the Republican primary elections are showing the country so far, as far as I can tell, is that the Republicans have only unpalatable offerings to make for the presidency, and the one winning is the one where people dismiss what he says as things that he doesn't really believe.

Romney might be a competent manager of the country, but he is certainly no visionary.  If you think he doesn't believe what he says, then he becomes an inkblot test - he becomes whatever you wish him to be.  In a way, that is how Obama ran four years ago, undefined and believed to be a multitude of things to a multitude of voters, many of whom became disappointed because he wasn't who they projected him to be.

If people actually listen to Romney and vote based on the silly things he is saying, he will no longer be just The Other Guy, but will be someone who represents actual policy possibilities, and he too will be rejected.  But, for now, he is just The Other Guy.