‘Romney is toast’ narrative is premature
posted at 3:19 pm on September 18, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
Uh-oh. Liberals are giddy again. The last time they were this celebratory was after Mitt Romney announced that Paul Ryan would be his running mate. A positively buoyant John Heilemann wrote in New York magazine that “everyone residing at the Obama for America HQ in Chicago and in the warrens of the White House wore grins wide enough to span the distance between the two.”
Then the subject turned from the Ryan proposal to the Obama reality—that his health care law would raid the Medicare trust fund to the tune of $716 billion—and those smiles metamorphosed into frowns.
Today’s celebration is over the release of a “hidden video” by David Corn of Mother Jones in which candidate Mitt Romney tells a campaign crowd:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what … These are people who pay no income tax.
[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
The New Republic’s Timothy Noah reacts to the good news thus: “Maybe it isn’t too early to declare Romney’s candidacy dead after all.” Noah should know; he’s an expert on this stuff. True, less than two weeks he was sharing his consternation over the bitter reality that “Obama might actually lose,” but that was then and this is now. And now, liberals are certain (well, pretty sure anyway) that we can flip over all the cards and move on to new business. The election has been decided in the incumbent’s favor.
The only problem is that past comments that are sure to sink a candidate’s chances have short legs. They survive only until the next major crisis, revelation, or stupid comment comes along to replace them.
Consider the considered opinion of a blogger named Chip Wood, who wrote a post in July titled “The Lie that Should Sink Obama.” The lie was actually an instance of Obama speaking the truth, at least as he sees it: In his world, all that is good and great about America begins with government, without whose guidance (or highways or something) no business could get off the ground.
Or take a more recent example. No less learned a pundit than Bill Maher stated on TV last Friday, “I think this is the week Mitt Romney lost the election.” The coup de grace, Maher said, was Mitt Romney’s response to the White House reaction to events in the Middle East on 9/11. Now a week later, it’s something else that is certain to do Romney in.
Another problem is that not all stupid remarks inflict fatal blows on their speaker. If they did Barack Obama would have died a thousand deaths by now. Townhall’s John Hawkins has a collection of what he considers the 25 most obnoxious Obama quotes. Here are just a few of them:
I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.
I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.
The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person.
The private sector is doing fine.
Finally, there are those who will say that the circumstances surrounding Romney’s most recent controversial utterance—that it was uttered on the campaign trail and “secretly” recorded behind closed doors—makes it especially deadly. But Ed Morrissey provides this cautionary tale:
In another fundraiser secretly taped by an attendee, a major-party nominee made the same mistake as Romney and offered some political analysis of why large numbers of voters were probably unreachable in an election.
That candidate was Barack Obama and his now-infamous bitter clinger remarks were not enough to unseat him. One slight difference is that the mainstream media covered for Obama, on that occasion and numerous others since. It is a courtesy that they will not extend to candidate Romney. Yet as the president himself once observed, “the American people aren’t stupid.”
There is also the matter of the unfinished business in the Muslim world, which once again seems to be eroding Obama’s lead in the polls.
- New poll says that under Obama, Muslim world dislikes U.S. more than ever
- TV networks asked to include promos for ObamaCare in top-rated shows
- The MSM’s relentless piling on over Romney Libya remarks
- The election will determine who has the last laugh over the Ryan pick
- Obama really stepped in it, but MSM continues to run interference for him
- Romney bully story shows MSM will shill for Obama again in 2012 election
- Newsweek asks ‘Why are Obama’s critics so dumb?’
- Obama: Nobody succeeds without government’s help
- Business leaders fire back at Obama over his ‘no man is an island’ remarks
- News flash: Barack Obama says, ‘American people aren’t stupid’
Recently in the Green Room:
- Programming note: Guest-hosting the Hugh Hewitt Show tonight w/ MKH
- Obligatory Bill Clinton drew pictures of man parts on classified documents post
- Winning entry for HHS’s ObamaCare propaganda video contest: “Forget About the Price Tag”
- The Ed Morrissey Show on hiatus
- Health records ‘data security,’ Canada-style