Let Romney be Romney

May 5, 2012

Some good advice:

Let’s stipulate once and for all that Mitt Romney isn’t a perfect candidate, that he’ll have trouble connecting with some voters, and that he’ll at times fall short of compellingly articulating a reformist conservative agenda for the 21st century. We’ll further stipulate​ once and for all that the Romney campaign will be at times annoyingly ham-handed, at other times exasperatingly short-sighted, and will prove in general only imperfectly capable of presenting Romney to the American people as the right man for the job. And we’ll additionally stipulate that some Romney supporters will say silly things, that some Romney surrogates will make unconvincing arguments, that various elements of the Republican party will sometimes behave stupidly, and that even some conservatives will say embarrassing things as well.

It will all be water off our duck-like back here at The Weekly Standard. We won’t worry about it, and we’ll try not even to notice it, since there’s not much we can do about it. And the good news is that, at the end of the day, it will probably all be water off the voters’ backs too. Mitt Romney will be the kind of candidate he is, he’ll run the kind of campaign he runs—and he’ll probably defeat President Obama.

Indeed, he probably has a better chance to win if he relaxes and runs as .  .  . himself. Most candidates aren’t very good at trying to be what they’re not. In 1996, Bob Dole said he’d try to sound like Ronald Reagan if that’s what people wanted. He picked Jack Kemp as a running mate to try to spice up the ticket and embraced a tax plan he didn’t really believe in and couldn’t explain. It didn’t work.

In 2004, John Kerry, who had voted for the Iraq war for political reasons, overdid his attacks on the Bush administration to try to compensate. He sought preemptively to neutralize concerns over liberal dovishness by “reporting for duty” at the Democratic convention, which opened the door to the Swift Boat veterans and reminders of his antiwar testimony to Congress in 1971. He lost.

Mitt Romney is an intelligent, hardworking, pragmatic problem-solver with a conservative disposition. He might as well present himself that way. It will be easier than any alternative self-presentation, and has the added advantage that it’s probably what a majority of the country wants right now. So we say to our fellow conservatives: Let Romney be Romney.

6 Responses to Let Romney be Romney

  1. anonymous un-RINO on May 5, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Let Willard be Willard, eh?

    But does anybody have a clue just what exactly Willard is?

  2. MikeN on May 5, 2012 at 7:50 am

    In other words, Romney should just shut up.

  3. MikeyW on May 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    On top of that, the only message he has is let’s go back to doing what George Bush did.

  4. P. Tillman on May 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Hilarious….he IS being who is he, that’s the PROBLEM.

    What the author really means is that a NEW persona needs to be invented, soon, a palatable one, and then slid into place by claiming that it is Mitt’s “real” personality finally breaking through! Thank the Lord (or should I say the Angel Moroni) it has finally happened!

    Republican operatives really do assume everyone is a complete moron, don’t they? I suppose it is hard to see the world in other ways than your own and to therefore assume everyone thinks like you do….

  5. P. Tillman on May 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    “Mitt Romney is an intelligent, hardworking, pragmatic problem-solver with a conservative disposition.”

    This is all you need to know to realize the author, WILLIAM KRISTOL (better known as the man who unleashed Sarah Palin on the world), is a complete and utter idiot.

    Willard Mitt Romney is a snake and a charlatan and a Liar among liars. All you need to know about how he’ll govern is to see how quickly he fired his gay spokesman after far Rightwing groups complained.

    What Kristol’s comment does signify is that the powerbrokers recognize that his constant pandering to the extremist right wingnuts in this country will cost him the election if voters learn about it. And of course Kristol knows that his job is to diffuse and distract. Weave and bob. Parry and thrust.

  6. The Exposer on May 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    For the good of the Republican Party, Willard needs to step down from consideration. He’s the only candidate guaranteed to lose in November.