Sunday, September 23, 2012

Five Possible Reasons for Romney Being Wishy-Washy

Michael Rozeff makes some important points:
I had an amusing e-mail in which the writer informed me that since Romney was intelligent and wasn't framing his issues well, he was throwing the election! It gave me a laugh, but I don't believe it for a second. 
Intelligence has nothing to do with it, first of all. Here are some possibilities. Here are my intutions. First, Romney is an economic illiterate, as is Obama. One can get a Harvard MBA, make a lot of money, and still not understand economics. Second, he's a pragmatist, as is Obama. He has no principles. He thinks practical application reveals truth in economics, instead of understanding that economics follows from truths about human beings. Romneycare in Massachusetts demonstrates both his illiteracy and his pragmatism. Third, Romney is not a thinker, and neither is Obama. Both are heavily influenced by people around them and views they are presented with. They don't think through things from A to Z or come at things with thought out positions based on long experience or thought. They do come at them with biases and miscellaneous notions and feelings they've collected over the years. Fourth, they are not holistic or systematic thinkers. They look at matters piecemeal, rather than see the connections. They therefore cannot make a consistent case or argument. Fifth, they both want to play it safe. They're timid about deviating too far from the status quo, and their economic illiteracy, pragmatism and reliance on advisors reinforces this timidity because deep down they are unsure of themselves and unsure of what policies to adopt.


  1. Most people have had a job working for a manager like Romney or Obama. People essentially clueless about why things work (or why they don't work), but simply lucky enough, to have guessed right enough times, to appear smart. It's the difference between being successful and being effective. They strive to be successful, and once enough success has been achieved, they quickly move on to something different. If they are ever forced to remain in one place too long (like a four year term in office, while things are going badly), then their ineffectiveness becomes apparent, along with their cluelessness.

  2. "Fifth, they both want to play it safe."

    I have to disagree with this one. Obama's campaign has been following a scorched earth strategy towards Romney. The "back in chains" comment, accusing Romney of being a criminal tax evader, the 'war on women' stuff, claiming the economy is getting better.

    It's possible Romney just has terrible advisers. But he's not going after Obama at all. If he did, I think he might be winning. I am not suggesting that there is any meaningful difference between the two. I'm talking about Romney going after Obama over stupid, superficial stuff (like Solyndra) that will appeal to the GOP base (so basically the mirror image of what Obama is doing).

    If I was Romney's manager, I'd make sure that for every Obama-bot on cable news accusing Romney of being racist and/or sexist, there would be a Romney-bot calling Obama an anti-Christian, anti-family socialist - and if CNN and MSNBC quit having my people on, I'd have Romney give a big speech on the "liberal media" and how it wants Obama to win. I'd have had Romney show up at Chick-Fil-A when everyone went to show support, and accuse Obama of supporting the "homosexual agenda." And there would be lots of ad time devoted to Rev. Wright soundbites.

    (just want to make it clear I'm not a neo-con, not a Romney supporter, this is just a thought experiment to consider the effectiveness of the Romney campaign)