Saturday, January 19, 2008

Everyone hates Romney

Everyone in the msm detests Mitt Romney. I don't know if its' the way he looks, his political resume, his money and/or his willingness to spend it to win, his religion, or whether he's done something really terrible but not appropriate to disclose, yet. To prove this, look at David Brooks' piece in the New York Times. The column is a high-brow essay about how voters really don't make strictly rational choices when picking a president but instead make snap judgements based on other factors. Fair enough. But notice the swipes at Romney and no one else:

People in my line of work try to answer certain questions. Why did Hillary surge after misting up in New Hampshire? Why have primary victories produced no momentum for the victors? Why did John McCain win among Republicans who oppose the Iraq war in both New Hampshire and Michigan, but lose among voters who support it?

The truth is that many of the theories we come up with are bogus. They are based on the assumption that voters make cold, rational decisions about who to vote for and can tell us why they decided as they did. This is false.
In reality, we voters — all of us — make emotional, intuitive decisions about who we prefer, and then come up with post-hoc rationalizations to explain the choices that were already made beneath conscious awareness. “People often act without knowing why they do what they do,” Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner, noted in an e-mail message to me this week. “The fashion of political writing this year is to suggest that people choose their candidate by their stand on the issues, but this strikes me as highly implausible.”

As the campaign drags on, voters see candidates at different events. Maybe at one event Mitt Romney smiled without dipping the outer edge of his eyebrows. This is a cue that the smile is fake, and produces distrust. On the other hand, maybe he vowed to bring all the manufacturing jobs back to Michigan. A voter might have known this was impossible, but appreciated the concern nonetheless.

Even after the Michigan victory which was not universally predicted, the pundits are taking swipes at Romney. I honestly think he will win the Repubublican nod, and lose the election. He is the most complete Republican in terms of appealing to the different constituencies in that party. The fact that he has only recently converted to many of those positions should be troublesome for the fervent conservative but their choices are very slim.

Alsos you should notice how the CW that if Romney didn't win either Iowa or New Hampshire he was finished has quietly faded away. Smart and strong candidates must learn to reject the analysis of people who are invested in drama and not in a vibrant democracy. The talk quickly changed to how he had to win in Michigan, and once he did, now its' pretty much silent. The smart person learns to think throuh these temporary waves, and chart a long-term course. Root Mitt on so he can lose to Hillary in 2008.

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