A Man, A Movie and A Perfect Storm
WASHINGTON – ROMNEY’S FLAT-FOOTED CAMPAIGN response to the barrage coming at him looms as one of those election year moments that could become historic. That it’s coming at a time when there seems to be a convergence of energy targeted at Mitt Romney’s very reason for running for the presidency makes it even more potentially dangerous, which explains why his campaign message has become unhinged. The only saving grace is that it’s July not September, but given the swarm that continues to gather, Democratic forces are being given one of those moments that are the stuff of potential victories.
Even GOP advisor Frank Luntz jumped into the fray. “Hollywood does it again,” he told Secrets. “[Romney] had to know all this was coming and he should have done a lot more to prepare for it.” – Romney’s new foe: Batman’s ‘Bane’
The economy remains shaky, with a referendum on Obama the only way Mitt Romney can win. Yet Romney’s campaign has still not formulated their campaign message around this one fact. Pres. Obama hasn’t been able to get hold of his own economic message his entire first term, yet a man who’s been running for president for 8 years wasn’t prepared to be challenged in the era of Occupy on his Bain Capital record, having no narrative prepared to sell it. Romney actually believed he could come forth, offer himself, be taken at his word, with no investigation pending on the history of what he did.
If ever there was a patriarchal presentation founded on a fundamentalist belief in male supremacy, Mitt Romney is it. His campaign wreaks of it. The hubris of his presidential campaign’s arrogance to queries proves it.
As backdrop, it’s been called the “most disastrous poll ever” for Mitt Romney and it’s evidence that Team Obama’s Bain Capital attacks are making a dent, which is one reason I’m actually citing this poll, something I rarely do. It’s only a snapshot, but the latest Pew out last week puts skin on why Romney’s spastic response to the economic attacks coming at him could end up being a defining moment. The other reason I’m citing this poll is that it reveals Obama has gained on Romney on the economy and jobs, giving the President the lead on the issue that is Romney’s sole reason for his campaign. I’m late in citing this poll, because I go out of my way not to cite polling data, but when juxtaposed against the withering attacks on Romney’s reason to run for president, attention must be paid, if only to mark a significant tremor in the campaign at this moment, which could be foreshadowing of Romney’s undoing. Whether it is, of course, is another story entirely (see Nate Silver). But what’s playing out right now is significant, with an even more recent poll showing that Americans favor Barack Obama’s economic plan to tax the wealthy, 2-to-1, also citing “fairness,” which blows Romney’s austerity plan to smithereens. A just released Democracy Corp poll proves it.
By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,00o would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% say it would make the system less fair. – Raising Taxes on Rich Seen as Good for Economy, Fairness
In historic moments, culture often provides the perfect setting in which the stories of our lives play out. We remember songs that set a certain time in our lives to music. We can place the moment we saw a movie and what it meant to our lives, sometimes inspiring us in surprising ways. Then there are those moments when movies craft a larger theme, sometimes being a hilarious counterpoint to what’s going on in American life, while other times providing a contemporary moment of synchronicity, even if the specifics don’t align perfectly. And in some moments it’s just too perfect to worry about what doesn’t match, because the person it typifies so deserves the comparison, if only because he’s insulted everyone by assuming people will vote for him without any effort on his part to reveal who he really is, as opposed to what he’s marketed to be.
Mitt Romney has always typified a casting agent’s perfect “type” to be president. He’s got the looks. In bad economic times, his business resume reads perfectly on paper for the moment. On the cultural side, he’s got the perfect family picture to offer, too. But this isn’t the 1950s, contrary to Team Romney’s behavior and game plan. Romney also comes after Barack Obama, who was marketed as something he wasn’t, with the voters now having felt that sting, though it’s hardly the first time voters idealism allowed them to be fooled, leaving them wide awake and wounded.
In the movies, people root for the underdog. The underdog in the story of 2012 is the American worker. Right now Mitt Romney is being defined as literally the “Bane” of their existence, with leading comedians providing the humor and context, and an actual villain in a summer blockbuster about to offer the comic book version of the candidate.
We’re in the eye of a perfect storm.
Taylor Marsh, a veteran political analyst and former Huffington Post contributor, is the author of The Hillary Effect, available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Her new-media blog www.taylormarsh.com covers national politics, women and power.