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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 03:49 PM

They're finally noticing...

Posted with permission.

http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/27/12439814-vague-general-or-downright-evasive?lite

'Vague, general or downright evasive'
By Steve Benen
-
Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:28 PM EDT


For those of us who've marveled for months at Mitt Romney's reluctance to take firm positions on major issues, it's heartening to see so many others start to notice the same problem.

Politico reported this week, "Vague, general or downright evasive policy prescriptions on some of the most important issues facing the country are becoming the rule for Romney." MSNBC's own Joe Scarborough told viewers this week the Romney campaign's "goal is to not let people know what he believes on one issue after another." Chris Cillizza noted yesterday that Romney "continues to decline to outline specific policies or take firm positions," adding, "How sustainable is this?"

Today, the Boston Globe's Scot Lehigh highlighted the same problem.

When Mitt Romney ran for governor in 2002, he campaigned like the management consultant he had once been, digging deep into issues and proposing thoughtful plans based on his analysis of the facts. It was a winning performance.

A decade later, however, it's as if an anti-matter Mitt is running for president. This Romney takes regular refuge in vague answers and foggy formulations. And not just on caught-by-surprise matters such as President Obama's new policy not to deport certain young illegal immigrants.

Rather, the vagueness extends to the heart of the Republican candidate's core proposals.

There's a running list of issues Romney is afraid to take a firm position on, and it keeps getting longer.

The next question, of course, is why Romney does this.

The candidate has already admitted that if he talks in detail about what he'd do if elected, voters might not like it, so he prefers to keep the specifics under wraps. The GOP nominee, in other words, is taking the coward's way out.

But Jonathan Bernstein goes a step further, citing Romney's "fear of conservatives" and similarities to Bush as driving factors.

{W}hile most voters may think of Bush as a typical conservative Republican, many Tea Partiers and other conservative activists see Bush as one step (if that) removed from the dreaded RINO label. And so for Romney, who still must worry about keeping activists happy, there's no way to square the circle. If Bush was dangerously moderate, then deviating even a bit to the center would put Romney in dangerous territory for activists. But of course a move to the right to separate himself from Bush, and Romney would be courting a reputation for extremism that could be trouble for him with swing voters.


Whatever the motivation, the larger truth is that there's an element of fear that permeates Romney's entire campaign -- he's afraid take firm position on issues; he's afraid to offend conservatives; he's afraid to pushback against extremist rhetoric; he's afraid of the religious right; he's afraid of Rush Limbaugh; he's afraid to release his tax returns; he's afraid to disclose his bundlers; and in general, he's afraid to lead.

Postscript: I'd be remiss if I neglected to mention Romney's ironic campaign rhetoric: "Unlike President Obama, you don't have to wait until after the election to find out what I believe in -- or what my plans are." The exact opposite is true.

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Reply They're finally noticing... (Original post)
babylonsister Jun 2012 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2012 #1
Katashi_itto Jun 2012 #7
graywarrior Jun 2012 #2
Kablooie Jun 2012 #3
demwing Jun 2012 #5
Baitball Blogger Jun 2012 #4
Tarheel_Dem Jun 2012 #6
Rosanna Lopez Jun 2012 #8

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 03:52 PM

1. He's stuck, and there's no way out for him. He WILL lose.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:51 PM

7. Doubtful, Repuke will outspend us 300 to 1, the campaign will either be bought or all

they have to do is swing it 1-2% points in the target states...

Voter ID, Diebold, it will all come together in an unholy triangulation. Don't forget the have bought SCOTUS too.

40% of the country will already vote against Obama, he could walk on water and it wouldn't matter to these cretins.

All thats needed is a nudge in the target states...

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 03:57 PM

2. I pray he and Scott Brown endorse one another.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 04:15 PM

3. What's vague about "I'll fix all the country's problems."?

Very specific.

The country has problems.
He will fix them.

There.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:30 PM

5. If I had a hammer

I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out a bunch of stuff that I'd rather keep a secret
All over this land...

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 04:42 PM

4. He's counting on Republican hate to carry him through. That, and the Voter ID laws.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:58 PM

6. I love the postcript. It's funny cuz it's true.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 01:55 AM

8. Turning point in media coverage ?

What will be interesting to see is whether this represents a turning point in the media coverage on Romney. Up until now, most of the media has largely let him get away with whatever he wants. They haven't called him out on his lies, changes of positions, record in MA, skeletons in the closet (eg. hiding out in France during Vietnam). The media coverage has been pro-Romney and anti-Obama so far. The Pew Research Center released a report a month or so ago showing that coverage had been more positive for Romney than Obama by a 2-1 margin.

However, journalists have egos, and journalists have a limit to their patience. What we may be seeing is the press finally deciding to stop giving Romney a break and beginning to express its frustration with him.

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