Blame it on Allen West. Our intention today was to stop giving Mitt Romney “advice” and start being more “supportive”. But, that darn Allen West screwed our plans up.
We have lambasted Mitt Romney and his stupid campaign with fury and we stand by our on target attacks. Our attacks have not been about a VP pick. Our attacks are multifaceted, well reasoned, well documented and deserved. The fear grows daily that we will be proven right even as we hope we are proven wrong.
But we have not just attacked the bumbling campaign (and the allied organizations of the campaign such as the SuperPacs). We also have slapped the “shambles” convention the RNC ran. We have been about more than “attacks” however. We have provided good advice to counter the bumbles, stumbles, stupidity and futility of the Romney campaign.
We continue to give good advice. We’ll give more advice on the debates next week and specifically mention John Kerry (hint here) as an object lesson to Romney. The new Bloomberg poll: Obama losing support on national security should give Romney supporters solace – if Mitt Romney takes advantage of what this means.
Some of our earlier advice has taken root in the Romney campaign and in the SuperPacs. No longer are we subjected to those all too clever ads only frat boys liked.
Those ads featured Obama speaking his flowery words while text on the ad mocked the boob – not a word was heard on an audio track criticizing Obama. If you just had the TV on while working or reading all you heard was Obama giving a flowery soundbite and not much else. It was almost like free advertising for Obama paid for by Mitt Romney and his allies. Thank goodness those days and ads are over.
Our more substantive overall advice has been about the lack of a coherent narrative and seeming lack of a sense of urgency in Mitt Romney ads and Mitt Romney campaign speeches. We keep hitting Romney about this and will continue to do so until the “last drug store has sold its last pill.”
What do we mean about a “lack of a coherent narrative and seeming lack of a sense of urgency”? Here is where Allen West comes in. Look at this new Allen West ad:
“Two men, a country in crisis – you decide” is the tagline. It’s absolutely brilliant and ever so simple. The ad is not about Patrick Murphy being a drunk. The ad is not about character even. The ad is about leadership.
Is this Allen West ad: Hey, guess where I was while my opponent was drunk and disorderly? just a gussied up attack ad? NO. NO. NO.
The Allen West ad is about leadership and the American people deciding who is needed now for the crisis at hand. THAT’S WHAT THIS AD IS ABOUT – and this ad can easily be used as a template for Mitt Romney ads and Mitt Romney specifically (as we stated above, more on this next week as we provide our best debate advice).
The Allen West ad is a template. Several months back there were pictures floating around the Internets of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in their youth. Barack was smoking something and Romney was working as a missionary or some other equally salutary task. There’s no need to do an ad featuring these two men in their youth – but there are other contrasts that should be drawn.
The Mitt Romney campaign could easily borrow the Allen West ad and do an ad answering (not asking – answering) the question of where Obama was on the Sunday after September 11, 2001 and where Mitt Romney was. Show Mitt Romney at his Mormon church and Obama at his “God Damn America” Wright cell. Make it relevant to today. Tie this all to the Middle East and the Benghazi lies and state “Two men, a country in crisis – you decide who is better suited to stop the attacks on America.”
Try “Two men, a country in crisis – Obama will get you killed, Mitt Romney will rescue America.” Draw a strong contrast. Use facts and visuals. This is not very complicated stuff but you have to be willing to fight.
“Two men, a country in crisis.” Romney has to use contrast and compare ads. Romney has to have a sense of urgency as well and declare that this election is about something real big – the country, freedom – it’s not about free phones.
Recently there has been a lot of chatter about “Obamaphones” – free cell phones. That’s right, free cell phones, not land lines. Americans who pay their cell phone bills are being charged a “universal service charge” to give free cell phones, not land lines but cell phones, to many for unexplained reasons.
Why isn’t Mitt Romney talking about this in the larger sense of things run amok? Representative Tim Griffin is trying to at least reform this free cell phone giveaway and Romney is AWOL.
Why doesn’t Mitt Romney do a “Two men, a country in crisis” ad telling Americans he wants a land of opportunity and jobs – not free cell phones.
Charles Krauthammer agrees with our half year-long critique of Mitt Romney’s campaign and what Romney must do:
“Go large, Mitt
The United Nations being an institution of surpassing cynicism and mendacity, the [Obama] speech was so naive it would have made a fine middle-school commencement address. Instead, it was a plaintive plea by the world’s alleged superpower to be treated nicely by a roomful of the most corrupt, repressive, tin-pot regimes on earth.
Yet Romney totally fumbled away the opportunity. Here was a chance to make the straightforward case about where Obama’s feckless approach to the region’s tyrants has brought us, connecting the dots of the disparate attacks as a natural response of the more virulent Islamist elements to a once-hegemonic power in retreat. Instead, Romney did two things:”
“He issued a two-sentence critique of the initial statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on the day the mob attacked. The critique was not only correct but vindicated when the State Department disavowed the embassy statement. However, because the critique was not framed within a larger argument about the misdirection of U.S. Middle East policy, it could be — and was — characterized as a partisan attack on the nation’s leader at a moment of national crisis.
Two weeks later at the Clinton Global Initiative, Romney did make a foreign-policy address. Here was his opportunity. What did he highlight? Reforming foreign aid.
Yes, reforming foreign aid! A worthy topic for a chin-pulling joint luncheon of the League of Women Voters and the Council on Foreign Relations. But as the core of a challenger’s major foreign-policy address amid a Lehman-like collapse of the Obama Doctrine?”
We want to be only “supportive” of Mitt Romney but here Krauthammer completely agrees with what we wrote before it happened. Romney needed to go to Florida and beat up Obama in a very public manner and link the Netanyahu snub to the Middle East debacle Obama has boobed us into. Why isn’t any of this a “Two men, a country in crisis” ad?
Two men, a country in crisis:
“It makes you think how far ahead Romney would be if he were actually running a campaign. His unwillingness to go big, to go for the larger argument, is simply astonishing.
For six months, he’s been matching Obama small ball for small ball. A hit-and-run critique here, a slogan-of-the-week there. [snip]
When you’re behind, however, safe is fatal. Even his counterpunching has gone miniature. Obama has successfully painted Romney as an out-of-touch, unfeeling plutocrat whose only interest is to cut taxes for the rich. Romney has complained in interviews that it’s not true. He has proposed cutting tax rates, while pledging that the share of the tax burden paid by the rich remains unchanged (by “broadening the base” as in the wildly successful, revenue-neutral Reagan-O’Neill tax reform of 1986).
But how many people know this? Where is the speech that hammers home precisely that point, advocates a reformed tax code that accelerates growth without letting the rich off the hook, and gives lie to the Obama demagoguery about dismantling the social safety net in order to enrich the rich?
Romney has accumulated tons of cash for 30-second ads. But unless they’re placed on the scaffolding of serious speeches making the larger argument, they will be treated as nothing more than tit for tat.
Make the case. Go large. About a foreign policy in ruins. About an archaic, 20th-century welfare state model that guarantees 21st-century insolvency. And about an alternate vision of an unapologetically assertive America abroad unafraid of fundamental structural change at home.
It might just work. And it’s not too late.“
It’s not too late. But it is getting there. Early voting is already happening. It’s getting late fella. Listen to us Mitt. Or listen to Newt. Or listen to Krauthammer. We’re all telling you the same thing.