From the email, an assessment of the Romney campaign from a lifelong MA GOPer:
MR's campaign is much better this time and shows evidence of forward planning
and thinking ahead. So, he has the capacity to execute to a victory. But:
1. White House is anxious for a Republican nominee to emerge so they can frame
his image, a la 1996 with the infamous 'Dole-Gingrich' ticket.
2. White House and hard leftist allies will be deployed ruthlessly but mostly
in key battleground states where they can get away with it for as long as
possible with seemingly indigenous activists (Wisconsin, New Mexico). To your
earlier title, they will cheat where they think they have to in order to win.
Somebody should track Vann Jones.
Yes, MR can run and win but with less control on the factors affecting or levers
[# More #]
1. State of the economy
2. Sudden overseas military action (though this could backfire on Obama)
MR is a choice for a better-run government, not (yet) a vision or creed. If the
economy recovered -- or seemed to -- MR would need a grand bargain. He seemed
to be trying to start that in his victory speech in NH.
That said, donors will believe their money will be carefully and well-spent, so,
again, he will have the resources and capacity. Perhaps an early VP selection
could help move MR beyond 'manager of the economy' to 'leader of a new free
world' or some much better version of same.
So, I think I would be singling our Chavez and Achmadinejad by name to get ahead
of and be better positioned for an overseas stunt -- start talking and acting
like Commander-in-Chief by name at least on a few big ones. No real way to get
ahead of economic news comes to mind.
Finally, I think media are underplaying or hiding indicators of voter
dissatisfaction with Obama. On television, I heard two directly contradictory
assessments of volume of lawn signs this time in NH, the minimizing comment
coming two days after the 'wow, I have never seen so many' etc. There is a
definite Obama need to insist that there is no excitement in the Republican base
or party at large.
Tactically, here is an important one: the Stephanopolous 'birth control'
question and Mark Halperin this morning on MSNBC insisting on specifying 'the
unconstitutionality of head start' with Ron Paul will be brewed into an ugly
batch of "Republican" messages and clips with which Obama and spokesman can
stain Romney. There must be a fixed menu of these quotes and soundbites sought
by the White House and the campaign-equivalent of the Journolist. This is an
'MR and any Republican nominee' problem that needs at least a response or
solution. A Mark Steyn-style mocking retort would probably be best.
For message, clarity, track record and choice (among those running), I like
Perry. But that opportunity seems lost in any reasonably foreseeable scenario.
I liked Mitch Daniels.