Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Three-Legged Stool and Where Romney Went Wrong

In a TIME article appearing on Yahoo News, Michael Scherer attempted to define the problems with Mitt Romney’s campaign in his article called “Is Romney Fighting the Last War?” The following is an excerpt from that article:

“From the start, Mitt Romney had a clear strategy for winning the White House. He would run as the candidate of the ideological establishment, the Republican old-guard, the coalition of Ronald Reagan, with that three-legged stool of social, fiscal and national security conservatism. He would become the inside man in a presidential field filled with outsiders.

“So Romney played in nearly every early straw poll and pandered to each conservative demographic. He joined the NRA. He talked tough on illegal immigrants and became a crusader against gay marriage. "Strength" was his watchword. With an impressive gallery of high-profile endorsements, he was the only Republican candidate who seemed to be on the right side of nearly every issue for the plurality of the old GOP coalition.

“And yet, his candidacy sputtered. His narrow loss Tuesday to John McCain in Florida was just the latest in a series of disappointments that began in Iowa and New Hampshire, two states where he had outspent his rivals and once led in the polls. His failures have many causes, which will be raked over by historians. But they also suggest a broader shift: Romney may be running to lead a Republican Party that no longer exists.”

There is a cure for what ails the Romney campaign and its Three-Legged Stool approach, an approach that is very similar to that of the spokesman from the very right of the right wing of the conservative base, Tony Perkins. I alluded to Mr. Perkins’ group in the topic, “Where Are the Kingmakers?” It appears the kingmakers have gone missing and, unfortunately, that seems to be who Romney has been depending on. After Mr. Perkins’ article on the “three-legged stool” appeared in his newsletter, I replied with a suggestion of my own. I have now forwarded it to the Romney campaign headquarters, along with the results of the poll in which many of you were so kind as to take part in. Here is what I had to say concerning the wobbly three-legged stool approach rather than a stable two-legged ladder approach.

Rather than a three-legged stool, I prefer to think of the base as being a ladder. The ladder has two runners, legs, if you will—Honesty and Integrity. The ladder has rungs—steps for climbing upward. The three-legged stool, whether perched in the pit of an imaginary airplane or on the ground, is stationery and keeps one in the same position. Moving around on a three-legged stool can be hazardous. The ladder suggests movement in its very nature. The ladder can lean solidly upon the foundation and walls of the Constitution of the United States .

A three-legged stool, for any who have attempted to stand or sit on one, will prove to be wobbly and will easily tip over. Its legs are generally short, limiting one’s reach to higher places that is needed in this country.

The ladder has many rungs, and each is important. Each rung is the same size, the same length, and is firmly embedded in the two outer legs of the ladder. If the ladder has only one rung, the uprights will fall apart. All of the rungs are important to holding the ladder together. The ladder has many rungs for climbing to the high ground safely in upholding our U.S. Constitution, and a ladder is what is needed to climb out of the quagmire and muck that we are in presently. From all indications, we are sinking quickly. I would suggest that the candidates begin to express what the rungs in their ladders represent in terms of solutions to the multi-faceted problems this country faces, rather than attempting to stand on an unstable three-legged stool that stands for nothing and offers no real strength. Most certainly Governor Romney would benefit from this approach.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (mainstream America) are asking questions and are expecting to hear more than the sound bites that are currently being offered. If the GOP does not wake up to this fact and find a candidate who is strong enough to put forth some solid answers to the questions, then prepare to face four, and probably eight, years of a Democrat controlled White House and Congress. And that will certainly prove that Armney was correct when he said the GOP had sold out to the religious right, for there is where they based their hope for victory in 2006, and they were defeated.

Those who were defeated in ‘06 and those who are tasting defeat in ‘08 are those who have attempted to make the ladder reach the top with only one rung--religious conservatism. Their ladders toppled out of short-sightedness. This rung of the ladder is no longer the first nor the last rung on the ladder that guarantees the success to the candidate who depends on it. Governor Romney needs to understand this and plant a solid ladder against the wall, rather than attempting to reach the top on a wobbly three-legged stool.


Anonymous said...

I heard this guy made his millions helping corporations down size and part of that downsizing involved out sourcing. Far as I'm concerned it 's no loss if he misses the nomination.

I never could see him drawing the evangelical vote. My understanding is, Mormonism is considered a cult. Don't know about that but they sure are evangelical, more so than the local Baptists who invite but do not push their pamphlets in your face.

I honestly have a blue collar dislike for slick businessmen. I was involved in that world just long enough to know it was not my cup of tea.

Ticker said...

Yes, he took corporations that were going broke and sinking faster than the Titantic and made them viable. Yes, some did outsourse but can you tell me one corportation that has not outsourced? Reason, regulations, unions, taxes. I'd get out too if my stock holders were saying produce a profit or we sell out and of course that means oooops , no more company.

The evangelical vote as I noted in Where are the Kingmakers is not as important as it once was but in order to draw a well rounded support base it seems that Romney bought into the Perkins, family values agenda. It failed in 06 and is failing now. He needs to cut their nets and move on.
Mormonism a cult? Depends on which Baptist I talk to. Outside of that I do not feel a presidential candidate should have to undergo the scruitny of his beliefs. JFK faced a little of this and of course the same crowd who claimed that electing JFK meant the Pope controlling the country within 2 years are the same crowd crying Mormons are cultist and we will all be somehow transported to some strange planet when we die. So much for myths and fair tales.

It's McCain or Romney at this point and you can see where many of the veterans are going and it's not to McCain. Neither will I. I find McCain to be less than forthright in too many important issues and certainly not strong on the immigration issue. I find him to be just slightly right of Hillary and that ain't by much.

I have been around the corporate world and the DC world and for me I will take someone who is outside the loop rather than someone who has for too many years been part of the problem.

Thanks for sharing your opinion. That's what this is all about.

Anonymous said...

These days it is the religious right that wants a religious test for office holders. Living in the bible belt creates a whole new awareness of this. In my home state a candidate for congress or any other office would not talk about his religious affiliation. Romney went out of the box in an attempt to attract the evangelical vote as did Clinton and Obama when they agreed to discuss their faith on an open forum.

As for cults, I belong to one, according to the ignorant, but that doesn't make it so. The only thing I have against Mormons is their repeated visits to my front door. At least the Baptists gave me a bottle of water and a couple of nine volt batteries.

I am not nearly so knowledgeable about business and world affairs as you sir but I have to say there is something rotten in DC when US based companies are allowed to move operations over seas to the detriment of the nation and the American worker.

I believe innovation is the way to keep prices in line but our manufacturers have chosen slave labor because it's cheaper. I hope the bill we are all going to pay someday for loss of manufacturing jobs to China is worth the profits obtained. You may have noted that some companies are starting a reverse migration. Question, is it too little too late?

On John McCain, first I don't buy his war hero status. It seems anybody that wears or wore a uniform is a hero. Does five years in prison camp count? Secondly, I sincerely believe there ought to be an age cap on running for the highest office. Seventy-two years old means you better take a long hard look at his veep choice.

To tell the truth, I'm thinking of retiring from politics myself. Maybe there ought to be an age cap placed on the right to vote as well. The young are going to have to live or die with the choices we make and we have not been doing all that well of late.

Hope I didn't take up too much space. ;-))

Ticker said...

Take up too much space! Absolutely not!!!

Thanks for some thoughtful insight. I am sure that there are others out there who will agree, at least in part, with you.