The Right Opinion

The Message Romney Missed

By L. Brent Bozell · Nov. 21, 2012

The post mortems on the presidential campaign continue to pour in, the ones on the botched Romney effort the more interesting (and more depressing for those of us who supported him). President Obama was clearly vulnerable, and Mitt Romney clearly positioned to defeat him.

So what went wrong? Let me add my analysis. Three words: Message. Messenger. Messaging.

The messenger was flawed, unwilling to take risks, unprepared for the Obama political wrecking machine, left dazed and confused Election Night.

If inept messaging could be deemed a felony, this campaign was a crime against humanity. I've never seen worse commercials more badly placed on the wrong media than this. In Virginia, we had to suffer through 10 gazillion TV ads attacking China for stealing American technology. China?

More can and should be written about the messenger and his messaging, but let's concentrate on his message. Or the lack thereof, which was the fatal problem.

The message was there in black and white. If only Mitt Romney had embraced Reagan's vision and philosophy and record and pitted it against Obama's on all counts.

Our commander-in-chief has spent four years wah-wah whining about the economic problems left to him by Bush 43, consistently labeling it the “worst recession since the Great Depression,” which clearly it wasn't.

You want a nightmare to inherit? Try an economy with interest rates in double digits; inflation over 20 percent; unemployment skyrocketing, eventually peaking at 10.8 percent; gas lines blocks long and a predecessor declaring we live in a “malaise” at home, while abroad our hostages are the personification of America, ridiculed. That's what Reagan was handed.

Reagan spent no time blaming Jimmy Carter. Brimming with optimism he went to work immediately fixing the problem. He slashed taxes across the board, and lifted the yoke of crippling regulations from entire sectors of the economy. Domestic spending was kept under control and federalism extolled. Minimum federal oversight, maximum individual freedom and responsibility – that was his clarion call.

By the end of his first term, the economy was roaring at 6.3 percent, unemployment was down to 7.3 percent (and would drop further, to 5 percent), inflation and interest rates were under control, and America was on her way to 92 consecutive months of economic growth, the greatest peacetime economic expansion in American history.

Obama? He did the opposite, growing only the federal leviathan while wasting literally trillions of taxpayers' dollars on “stimulus” programs that stimulated only his supporters, abducting entire industries with promises that would never be kept, while running trillion dollar annual deficits he cannot repay. Unemployment remains unchanged. The annual rate of growth is at 2.1 percent and slowing. The public mood is despondent. It's a mess, and the mess is his.

Reagan increased defense spending to rebuild our military decimated by the Left during the Carter years, which he needed to do in order to defeat and dismantle the Soviet Union without firing a shot, and which achievement alone merits his likeness on Mount Rushmore. American exceptionalism was championed. Patriotism was brimming.

Obama has consistently cut our defense capabilities to the point we can no longer fight two wars simultaneously, the imperative of military strategic planning. We face another $500 billion cut under sequestration, which will devastate us. American embassies and consulates are being attacked, our ambassadors and staff threatened or killed, and our foreign policy is an incoherent mess. American exceptionalism has been abandoned.

But Ronald Reagan was about more than economics and peace through strength. He believed in individual freedom and responsibility, yes. But he also believed in a virtuous society and openly championed it, constantly extolling the importance of the nuclear family and the sanctity of human life. He publicly invoked God, and publicly prayed to God. He called on Americans to honor the Ten Commandments. Can you imagine any of this happening today?

I write all this on the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The what you say? Yes, you heard me correctly. You see, “Transgender Day of Remembrance is commemorated each year on Nov. 20 to memorialize those we have lost as a result of hate and violence all too often faced by transgender people.”

Who am I quoting, you ask? It must be some extremist nut job, you say. Actually, that's true, but let me continue. “I invite you to the Secretary's Conference Room … for a special discussion with three transgender appointees doing tremendous [sic] throughout the Administration. Deputy Chief of Staff Mary Beth Maxwell will moderate an interactive discussion with Chloe Schwenke, U.S. Agency for International Development, Amanda Simpson, U.S. Department of Defense and our own Dylan Orr, Office of Disability Employment, U.S. Department of Labor.” The memo is signed by one Ana M. Ma, chief of staff at Barack Obama's Department of Labor.

It was all such low hanging fruit for Mitt Romney.

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12 Comments

Rozy in Audubon, IA said:

Obama blaming everyone and everything is only a cover-up of his real desire to decimate this once great nation and turn it into a third world dictatorship. Romney's message resonated with me and millions like me. I like the fact that he refrained from attacking which only leads to voters holding on tighter to their beloved "Santa Claus" promising them gifts for being good little boys and girls. Neither the message nor the messenger were flawed. What was and is flawed is the world view of people who want freedom FROM responsibility instead of liberty AND responsibility. We the people have allowed our liberties to be taken from us without much of a fight. When the takers outnumber the producers what else can you expect, but a nation who elects (stolen or otherwise) the biggest taker of all?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 9:52 AM

AT in Minnesota replied:

What planet are you from? You are one scary woman.

What do you produce? What liberties have been wrenched from you? Do you have any black or gay friends? What responsibilities am I shirking?

Romney was creepy and out of touch. Millions agreed with me--even my 84-year--old father who has always voted Republican.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Torp44 in Ione, Wa. replied:

Well, "AT", since you are obviously among the parasites embracing Obama's (and dear "Gregory's") vision of a "transformed" America, I suggest that you both re-locate to a country that has already gone down the road you crave to travel. I'll be here in the meantime, along with the rest of America's patriots, doing my best to ensure America's return to its constitutional roots. That may require massive armed resistance to what you & "Gregory's" ilk want to propagate, but it will be a fight that I look forward to. There are more than a few of us old ex-GreenBerets that share that attitude (I know, because I keep in touch with many of my old Special Forces buddies). We're all getting fed up with the simpering, whining, parasites eating away at our Nation's core......and will, I assure you, gladly be willing to do whatever it takes to return this country to its Constitutional foundation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Jayve in ABQ, NM replied:

What liberties have been wrenched? Are you kidding? The sole fact of burdening taxes and regulations which causes those who supply jobs to stop caring about the employees and focus on keeping the fat federal pig fed. That alone takes away the liberty and freedom of all affected. From the job creator down to the employee.
How about Obamacare? Are you really saying that it does nothing as far as removing liberty and the freedom of choice? The government now tells us what kind and how much you are to receive.
How about outlawing certain sizes of drinks? Or tablesalt? Or trampling on religious liberty with the age old "separation of church and state" when it has gotten to the point where all things are state? The list goes on and on and on. Amazing how the blind follow the blind lockstep.
Get back to us here when your 84 year old father needs medical attention and the IPAB, not the doctor, says no.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Hey AT, here is a clue for you, you voted with the Communist Party USA. That makes you a traitor.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Let's turn the question back on you. What do you and people like you produce? More children you can't take care of, buying homes you can't afford, thinking those who work owe you and yours a living, not taking responsibiity for your bad choices, and asking the stupid question about blacks and gays. What are you going to do when the makers can no longer support the takers? Keep excepting the government to take care of you or riot in the streets and take what you want.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 1:47 PM

ArmyofOne in MN replied:

You ask..What responsibilities am I shirking? How about the obvious responsibility to act like a citizen of the United States you are a traitor to this country! Just for the fact you're ignorant enough to vote for the 12% black, 100% Sodomite Obama and think you are some kind of hero, shows you are NOT a true American. Yes, I have to live among you morons (for now), but we know who you are, and when it comes to defending this country...you will be one of the first to go! Traitors! When the fighting begins your real numbers (can't fraudulently make up fighters) you'll find out what real Americans think about our country!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 4:14 PM

countrygirl in Texas replied:

@AT - I am SO happy that you find Rozy to be "one scary woman." Just for the tally book, there's at least two of us, only you'd probably be terrified of me. I think Rozy is downright diplomatic and gracious. And trying to be peacable. Me, I'm fed up with being peacable toward people who, through the incredibly massive ignorance that matches that that you display, have brought about the ruin of this once-great-country. I am also incredibly heartened by the comments you've provoked amongst other readers here. So I'm here to thank you for showing your ignorance and snarkiness, it's really made my day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Torp44 in Ione, Wa. replied:

Hey, Country Girl! You're my type of gal!! All my remaining relatives are in Texas & Oklahoma. You wouldn't be a Hamner by any chance, would you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Torp44 in Ione, Wa. replied:

Hey, Country Girl! You're my type of gal!! All my remaining relatives are in Texas & Oklahoma. You wouldn't be a Hamner by any chance, would you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Torp44 in Ione, Wa. said:

OOPS!!....sorry 'bout the double entry.......(but it doesn't really hurt to say it twice!...smile)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 6:13 PM

tdrag in South Carolina said:

While I too liked Romney (voted for him in the 2008 South Carolina primary and again in 2012) He was not prepared for the Obama / Chicago machine. One thing Conservatives MUST realize is that we are not dealing with the Democrat Party that Reagan dealt with. The "new" Democrats are more like Lenin's boys from 1917. With 2014 on the horizon it's time to fight fire with fire because the Democrats will concentrate on re-gaining the House and this will be a bloody fight. Remember, Nancy Pelosi wants to be speaker again!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 8:54 PM