Really, all that’s missing is the thorny crown. Mitt Romney all but threw himself under the bus this past week as he attempted to show his conservative bona-fides. The problem is that right-wing Mitt hasn’t quite reconciled with moderate Mitt. The result is a political dissonance not seen since Sarah Palin looked out her front window and saw Russia. It’s embarrassing, and it’s going to cost Romney the election.
Of course, I’m not talking about the 53% of Americans he identified by omission as hard-working people who take not a whit of government money, including Social Security, public pensions or tax credits. These people built it by themselves and if it wasn’t for those Cheatin’ Chinese, we’d be out of the economic doldrums and on our way towards prosperity.
What I’d like to know is why the 53% aren’t showing up in polls for Romney? In the latest national polls, Romney has 45, 43, 46, 45, 46 and 47 (in a Rasmussen poll where he actually leads Obama by two) percent of the vote. The latest NBC/WSJ poll has him losing by 50-45%. If the 47% are in the tank for Obama, that should leave plenty of room for a majority in Romney’s corner. It isn’t happening yet. And time is running out quickly.
What Mitt’s comments about the moochers who support Obama and his disastrous ruminations on the violence in the Middle East have done is to divert precious moments away from his central attacks on the president’s economic record. And Medicare (does anybody remember Medicare? This is an election about Medicare.) And the deficit. And any other substantive issue that Romney/Ryan believed was going to win them the hearts and minds of American voters with valid picture ID’s everywhere. The Republicans have lost days in the maelström of media-driven narratives and have tripped over their own tongues. And all Obama has had to do is to get out of the way, gracefully, and let them fail.
This election is by no means over. The first debate is October 3, and that presents Mitt the absolute last chance to reset himself and present his arguments to the electorate. The problem is that research shows that the debates do more to solidify the state of the race as it exists prior to the debates than they actually change minds. Plus, many people are just now tuning in to the election and they could decide that Obama has had his chance and he didn’t deliver. Stranger things have happened.
But even stranger things have already happened in this campaign. And they’ve all happened to Mitt.