Mayan campaign mashup 2012: No sleep til Brooklyn

17 09 2012

Bad sleep last night, so early sleep tonight.

But before I lay me down, I did want to second this Paul Constant bit:

I always assumed that, since the Romney campaign has had four years to plan for this Romney/Obama matchup, they must’ve had a plan for the general election. I figured this plan would include some way for Romney to battle his unlikeability, and to frame the president as a failure while framing Mitt Romney as a competent businessman. But this news is proof that they didn’t have any kind of a plan at all, or that their plan was hopelessly naive. In this stretch in between the conventions and the debates, a presidential campaign is supposed to be running more or less smoothly, hammering home a solid message to voters.

I admit to some surprise at how lousy a campaign Romney has run. He’s smart, he’s disciplined, he’s been running for years, but he’s making consistently bad decisions and seems incapable of adapting to an adversary who is also smart and disciplined and, unlike his primary foes, unlikely either to implode or melt down.

Romney’s had his moments, running with the ‘you didn’t build it’ theme, but he hasn’t been able to build those moments into any real movement for his numbers. He excited some in the Republican base with his pick of Ryan, but not many others. And his focus, pfft, well, where is it?

Again again again, even though a bad week (mediocre GOP convention followed by disciplined Dem convention) or two (killings in Benghazi), two-and-a-half (GOPper insiders ripping the Romney campaign; vid release of speech writing off almost half of the country) weeks need not doom a campaign, the folks in the Romney camp have got to know that the latter half of September, with recovery time running short, is a bad time for the engines to cut out.

I mean, they should know that, right? They do understand that waiting for Obama to crash first ain’t to no kind of strategy. . . ?

Or not. It seems to me a terrible calculus, but near as I can tell from his behavior, Romney figured that he outlasted weak challengers to win the primary and to win the general need simply to outlast a weak incumbent. Only the primary isn’t the general, and Obama was not as weak as many pundits (grrr!) assumed.

Ah. Perhaps then I’m the one misreading the campaign and the dynamics of the entire election season: perhaps Romney is doing about as well as any challenger would to a relatively well-liked, if somewhat battered, incumbent, and his campaign seems lousy only because he’s not winning.

Still, hard to erase the impression that the campaign actually is lousy.