Visual source: Newseum
Doyle McManus at The Los Angeles Times analyzes Mitt Romney and says that it looks like he'll never be able to fully win over his party's base:
Romney's beginning to look a bit like a Republican version of Dukakis: a Massachusetts governor who might win the nomination by outlasting weak opponents but who may never quite win his party's heart — or the nation's.
That's partly because, as Dukakis did, Romney is selling himself as a better manager for the federal government, not as the leader of a grand crusade. It's not a message that gets the blood flowing. Yes, he says his campaign is "a battle for the soul of America," but he doesn't always sound as if he means it.
Besides, his campaign rarely stays on that high plane for long. Instead, Romney's main message this month has been technical and tactical: that he's amassing more delegates than anyone else, so it's time for his rivals to get out of the way.
I attended a Mitt Romney event on Friday here in Illinois, and the "electability" argument was the one I heard the most among Romney supporters. More on Romney from Maureen Dowd
There’s a certain pathos to Romney. His manner is so inauthentic, you can’t find him anywhere. Is he the guy he was on Wednesday or the guy he was on Thursday?
He has the same problem that diminished the equally animatronic Al Gore. Gore kept mum on the one thing that made him come alive, the environment, fearing he’d be cast, as W. liked to say, as “a green, green lima bean.”
Romney also feels he must hide an essential part of who he is: a pillar of the Mormon Church. He fears he would turn off voters by talking too much about a faith that many evangelicals dismiss as a cult and not a true Christian religion.
And some more insight on the "authenticity" of the Republican frontrunner from Peter Geizenis
of the Boston Herald
Everything in the batch of emails unearthed from Mitt Romney’s time as governor tells us what we already knew: There isn’t a genuinely spontaneous bone anywhere in this guy’s body.
It’s like searching for a soul in your computer’s hard drive.
Every move Mitt makes, whether its putting on those jeans, opening the collar of his dress shirt, or eating them biscuits and cheesy grits, is calculated for a precise effect.
Meanwhile, Nate Silver
looks at Rick Santorum's campaign stop in Puerto Rico and views it as a major strategic flaw:
Perhaps Mr. Santorum’s campaign perceives that Mr. Romney is close to the 50 percent threshold. If so, spending some time in Puerto Rico could prevent Mr. Romney from hitting that mark, perhaps limiting him to 9 or 10 delegates rather than 20.
It’s a “small ball” strategy, in other words — one focused on the delegate math. Mr. Santorum is seeking to spend his resources efficiently to limit Mr. Romney’s advantage in that department.
This kind of strategy, however, misses the forest for the trees. The problem with it is simple: it is almost certain to be a losing one.
Via Dan Froomkin
, James Carville makes a good point about the wild west of campaign finance laws:
Democratic political strategist James Carville said that the ability to spend unlimited sums endows big donors with so much power that they don't even have to use it.
"You can threaten," he said. "The real impact of this is, let's say you want something -- there's a bill that you really care about -- you go to someone kind of on the fence, and usually you would say, 'I'll do a fundraiser for you.' Now you say, 'If you don't vote for this, I'm going to dump a million dollars on you.'" Or, he continued, "'If you don't vote to give me a pollution exemption, I'm going to croak you.'"
"The potential for mischief here is pretty good," Carville said.