Now, Romney heads into the final seven weeks of the campaign struggling to shed the aura of a candidate on the skids—an Inspector Clouseau-like figure who can’t perform the basic tasks of his job without getting into trouble. It’s an image wildly at odds with Romney’s background as a successful businessman and entrepreneur, the picture of managerial competence in the board room and the governor’s office.That's got plenty of Republicans in a panic.
'We’re losing," said veteran GOP strategist Jim Dyke. "And when that happens—it doesn't matter if it's a Republican or Democratic campaign or whether the campaign has been run masterfully or has been total crap—when the election gets closer, people start to get nervous."When all else fails, the Romney camp seems to think, fundraise.
Romney has not held a public event since Friday and spent much of Tuesday raising money in Utah and Texas.That freak-out is echoed by another Republican, "There's not really a campaign here. [...] He’s getting ready for the debates, and he's out fundraising. You've got enough money!" The fear goes way beyond just the race for the White House. Plenty of Republicans see their whole down ticket prospects circling the drain, but particularly their hopes to take back the Senate.
“He needs to be talking about the economy and not in Utah,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “He’s not going to get beat because of money. He ought to be running in Ohio and Florida like he’s running for governor and running in Virginia like he’s running for sheriff.”
"If Romney doesn't improve, that could cost us our chance of picking up the Senate, for sure," said one senior strategist working on a number of Senate races. "Honestly, I don't know who's driving the train, but they need to get their message focused." [...]
GOP strategist Ford O'Connell agreed, warning that Romney's remark could excite the Democratic base and hurt down-ticket Republicans.
"Republican Senate candidates in moderate-to-left-leaning states who need to keep the Democratic base pacified and still pull a sizable portion of independents in order to win could very well be hurt by this," he said.
What a "vulgar, unprintable phrase" this has turned into for Republicans. Romney's sorrow is one thing that really does trickle down.
All of which means, yep, we're winning. The Senate is slipping further and further out of the reach of Republicans, and now it's time for Democrats to turn on the jets. It's not enough just to keep the Senate, Democrats have to run up the score. They have to bury Republicans.
But they also need some Democrats with spine. In other words, an upgrade. That's where we come in.