There's nothing like a bunch of right-wing in-fighting and angst-ridden hand-wringing to spice up one's day.
Why, the right wingers wonder, isn't Romney mopping up the floor with the President given the state of the economy? They assume that Americans hate Obama as much as they do, so clearly something is wrong when a Marxist/Kenyan/socialist seems poised to be re-elected to the highest office in the land.
So the AP traveled to the Values Voters Summit to get the pulse of the far-right conservative movement.
"He ought to be killing Obama, and he's clearly not doing that," said 32-year-old R.J. Robinson, one of the thousands of activists attending the annual Values Voters Summit this weekend. "He should be doing better."The AP conducted more than a dozen interviews with attendees at the event. But even though the energy level was high for the speakers at the conference,
Added Mike Garner, a 27-year-old hawking "Reagan was right" buttons at the meeting: "If Romney loses this election, the party really needs to do some soul-searching."
frustration with Romney coursed through the hallways, where groups like the National Organization for Marriage and Americans United for Life promoted their policy positions and conservative pundits hawked their books.Many were not shy at proffering their own advice for the campaign on how it should be run:
"He needs to be more visible," said Dawn Hawkins, who works for the anti-pornography group Morality In Media. Even though Romney and his allies outspent Obama and his backers for months on TV in battleground states, Hawkins said: "He's not up on TV very often. He has very few ads running on TV and radio. Obama has ads everywhere."Yea, let everybody see more of Romney; that should do it. If we learned anything from the Republican Convention, it's that people grow to like Romney the more they see of him. NOT! And, really, not enough ads? Ms. Hawkins, you must be wearing blinders.
Tammy Baker, a military spouse originally from Texas, said she thinks Romney should sit down for "fireside chats" with the American people so they can get to know him better. "I'm not talking boxers and briefs here, you know. I'm not interested in that," she said. "But I do feel that he's pretty rigid, and because of that we don't get a chance to really get to know that person."That's right. The only person whose views are more toxic to the American public than Romney's are Paul Ryan's. Good plan.
Baker's other piece of advice: "Let Paul Ryan out of the box."
Bryan Fischer, an official with the American Family Association, went even further, accusing Romney's campaign of putting "a bag over Paul Ryan's head."
Like others here, [Fischer] warned that if Romney loses, the Republican Party is certain to undergo a tough period. "Soul-searching," ''self-reflection" and "tumult" were the words others used.Of course, the real Republican elephant in the room is the fact that they're stuck with a sucky candidate whose ideas - both financial and social in nature - are ones the majority of Americans find repugnant at best.
"If the Republican Party loses this election, conservatives will have had it," Fischer said. "They will be done, finished."
"I'm not the only one who has told Mitt that maybe he needs to talk more about himself and his life," Ryan told the group Friday morning, to scattered laughter from the crowd. "It wouldn't hurt if voters knew more of those little things that reveal a man's heart and his character."
Face it, you just can't make a silk purse out of this particular sow's ear.
And one can only imagine how the long knives will come out the day Romney and Ryan join McCain and Palin on the ash-heap of presidential-ticket losers.
It will be delicious.
Here's the official promo of the event - if you can stand to watch it.