While on The David Pakman Show yesterday, host David Pakman asked me why I thought Mitt Romney has proven to be such a bad candidate.
The conventional wisdom is that Romney is weird, aloof, socially awkward and removed from the lives of average Americans. All that may be true, but it’s also true of plenty of successful politicians. Politics is not the profession for the well-adjusted.
Instead, I noted that Romney is having such a hard time because of the fundamental incoherence of his and party’s issue platform.
The Republican Party and the conservative movement simply have done no significant soul-searching following the debacle of the George W. Bush presidency. They have admitted no error, and in turn, have refused to make any adjustments to convince the public they are ready to return to power.
In Romney’s case, he appears to have some basic understanding that he can’t take Tea Party anti-government talking points and expect to win the middle of the country. But he also can’t speak truth to the Tea Party either.
He won’t offer policies that are any different from President Bush’s, because to do so would require admitting that something out of the Conservative 101 playbook — lower taxes on the rich, fewer rules on corporations — didn’t work.
But doing that dance leads to plenty of mistakes. Furthermore, there isn’t widespread antipathy for Obama. The result: Romney is losing.
If the race continues the way, Romney will lose. The pundits, egged on by the conservative elite, will quickly blame Romney the person for the campaign’s failings.
But the campaign is failing because conservatism failed first.