So Mitt Romney released a new ad. A number of people have commented on the "legs" side of Romney’s ad, but I thought the "challenges" side was more interesting. Consider some quotes:
- "An Olympics hit by scandal and deficits"
- "He turned around dozens of companies"
- "State losing jobs with huge deficits … cutting spending instead of raising taxes"
- "At every step, he’s met extraordinary challenges"
Several things about this struck me. The Olympics quote could be a reference both to the GOP and the country. Is part of the message "I’ve handled scandal before, so I can do it again"? It strikes me that there’s a similar reading about the GOP in "turned around dozens of companies."
So what do Republican primary voters think needs to get fixed? Republican primary voters think the country is basically "on the right track." They are mostly happy with the economic situation of the country. Perhaps they are unhappy with the party or the government?
Also, given the examples, I have trouble seeing how you leverage these particular examples into facing the challenges that most Republicans that I talk to think are the big ones faced by the country, namely terrorism and security. Isn’t there a fundamental disconnect there?
Or is "Turnaround" another whack at Bush, distancing himself from the administration, which the campaign makes very clear in private that they are trying to do?
Also, there are no personal challenges, just professionalized ones, in sharp contrast to John McCain’s video released today, which does address the security issue too.