Poor surrogates: Where are the best voices, and why are they not day in and day out coordinating on a single message? John Bolton on foreign policy. New Gingrich on radical jihadism. Paul Ryan on anything. John Sununu on Obama criticism. They are all top-flight and too rarely seen. Week by week and day by day, the campaign lacks a coordinated and consistent message presented by the most forceful advocates. Put the policy people out to explain policy. Let the Obama team put out the hacks.
Too much delay: The campaign takes too long to put Romney in a position to expound on major issues and key developments that are harmful to the president. I’m not talking about a two-line statement or a couple of campaign stump lines. Romney needs promptly to deliver significant speeches or pound through media appearances on troublesome domestic and international developments. How did Obama’s policies contribute to these, and how would Romney’s policies get different results? The average voter would never know.
The lesson of last week was not to talk less, but to talk more frequently and expansively. Good policy ideas in the campaign’s headquarters in Boston resemble a post office worker who says, “I have to go in the back.” (No!! Not in the back!). It takes way too long to come out in the light of day, and when it does, it’s not worth the wait. It should take a day or two, not a week or two, to figure out what to say.