RUMBLINGS ABOUT ROMNEY – AT 10:01 A.M. ET: While Republicans are coalescing around Romney, it's hardly a secret that he hasn't exactly won their enthusiasm. The Politico reports that some key Republicans believe that Romney must adjust his campaign to win the election. The Politico tends to be a liberal site, but this is a well-reported story:
Mitt Romney has made it clear what he’s against.
What he’d be for as president is another question.
The presumptive GOP nominee has some Republicans worried he lacks the “vision thing” that has hurt previous presidential candidates and haunted George H.W. Bush in his quest to succeed Ronald Reagan.
Some GOP officials fear that their nominee for president has so far failed to articulate a clear and compelling plan for the country if he defeats President Barack Obama in November. Instead of framing his ideas in a positive and specific way — like some of his GOP primary challengers — they say Romney must stop solely running a defensive campaign that leaves voters without a clear idea of where he stands.
“I don’t know what he’ll do on anything,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola told POLITICO. “And that’s, that’s the concern that people have always had is, you don’t truly understand what Mitt Romney is going to do.”
Chocola clarified: “Whatever he does, it’ll be better than what President Obama would do. And that’s why conservatives will coalesce around his candidacy.”
Being better than the other guy may not be enough to convince independents, and to convince even Republicans actually to come out and vote.
“At the end of the day, you can’t just be all, you know, anti-Obama,” said former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, whose state is key to Romney’s chances. “It has to be, I think, two parts that and one part here’s the antidote, here’s the vision, here’s the path that I would like to lead America down.”
And GOP strategist Mark McKinnon — who advised former two-term Republican president George W. Bush — said it’s time for Romney to outline his agenda.
COMMENT: I agree with the criticism and the advice.
Romney's next key moment will be his choice of a vice-presidential nominee. But, after that, the key moment will be his acceptance speech at the Republican convention in Tampa. It must be inspirational, not just the nuts-and-bolts of a corporate manager. Romney is not personally popular, and I haven't heard anyone say, "I'd follow that man anywhere." That is the spirit he must evoke.
Is he capable of it? I have no idea. He won the nomination more-or-less by default, and by sheer force of campaign spending. Now it's showtime.
May 28, 2012