Here is the comment of astute conservative commentator Yuval Levin on the recent mega-gaffe by Romney's communications director:
If, say, yesterday, you had asked me what kind of statement by a Romney campaign person would do the most damage to Romney’s support among conservatives, and if I had then strained to imagine the stupidest thing they could possibly say, I might well have come up with something like Eric Fehrnstrom’s comment on CNN that regardless of what Romney says to conservatives during the primaries he can just “hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.” But then I would have thought that no political professional—indeed, no adult who has ever been around conservative politics or thought about it much—would ever say something so patently foolish, which so thoroughly confirms every worry that every conservative has about the candidate for whom he works.
Fehrnstrom didn't mean what's true and obvious: All candidates in both parties face two quite different audiences during a presidential campaign. The primary and caucus voters will be quite ideological (unusually conservative or unusually liberal), and the November general electorate much more moderate. And so it's inevitable that the emphases of campaigns will change.
Nobody really blames a candidate for facing up to that semi-Machiavellian reality. But voters are still insulted, for very understandable reasons, when candidates brag about what they have to do in public. The implication, of course, is that voters are pretty dumb and easily fooled. Maybe they are, but the worst strategy for fooling them is to brag that you're fooling them.
Fehrstrom went as far as to say that there's no real Romney. So one sketched Romney can readily be replaced by another. It's not just a change in emphasis. It's a whole new guy!
Conservatives have been concerned that Romney's not one of them. They have him on record as favoring healthcare mandates and forcing up gas prices to limit consumption. They even say that he's been educated to be a manager, not a man of principle. And he'll mend Obamacare, not end it.
Someone might say that's what the voters in November really want. The hyper-competent and self-disciplined Mitt will convince them that he'll do a better job of saving their entitlements than the president. I can actually see that the sketch of managerial Mitt might be the ticket to victory.
Thats not, however, the Mitt majority of Republican primary and caucus voters want to believe in.
Someone might also say that the timing of the mega-gaffe is perfect for Romney. At his point, there's no conservative candidate who can effectively exploit it. The delegate math pointing to his nomination is invincible. Sure Romney's all sketchy, the advisor brags, but there's not a darn thing you Republicans can do about it now.
Meanwhile, liberals and especially moderates can believe that there's no "authentic" Mitt (as there surely is an authentic Rick Santorum) who'll get in the way of doing the prudent thing.
When the typical person calls someone nonideological, he or she usually means someone who sensibly agrees with ME.
- The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
- Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
- Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.
In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.
The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.
- U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
- A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
- Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
A space memorial company plans to launch the ashes of "Pikachu," a well-loved Tabby, into space.
- Steve Munt, Pikachu's owner, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the mission.
- If all goes according to plan, Pikachu will be the second cat to enter space, the first being a French feline named Felicette.
- It might seem frivolous, but the cat-lovers commenting on Munt's GoFundMe page would likely disagree.
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