Romney Can Still Win The Election
Of particular interest was Mitt Romney's image. The commentators said his campaign was "small and tactical" and "mostly reactive to the president".
They all agreed that from here on, Romney needs to be straightforward and assertive in communicating his beliefs and ideas to the American people.
"If you are Mitt Romney (...) you get yourself together put fundraisers aside; you go to the public, make speeches and some commercials which show America what you stand for, what you're going to do and why the American people should follow you," said Wall Street columnist, Peggy Noonan who called the Romney campaign "a rolling calamity" in her WSJ column earlier this week.
David Corn, the Mother Jones journalist responsible for breaking the story on the 47 percent video, was not so forgiving:
"People look at him and don't see a steady hand," said David Corn. “The problem with the campaign is the candidate: Mitt Romney has been campaigning for seven years, being all sorts of different things and not having a core message in his pursuit of the presidency."
This lack of consistency was further thrown into the spotlight by President Obama's campaign, which they said succeeds in this area.
"The Obama campaign strategy comes from the president. He puts together his vision [and his] policy agenda; they’re his own ideas and [he] puts it together into a political strategy. It seems much more integrated campaign, ” Corn said.
Another point that was brought up during the commentary was Romney’s poor handling of the Libya crisis, and how his inflammatory and misplaced statements in the aftermath of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death has led Republicans to consider bringing in an “old hand” to lead Romney through the campaign.
Noonan encouraged this action in her column where she mentioned James A. Baker III (he ran Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1984 and George H.W. Bush’s in 1988) as a potential candidate.
CBS Political Director, John Dickerson also agreed with the necessity of bringing in an “old-hand”:
“Gov. Romney jumped in the middle of the Middle East crisis(…) and then he disappeared on the issue. We’ve since learned that this administration at first, thought that this uprising in Libya was something that bubbled from the ground [but] now they’re calling it a terrorist attack. Well, what went wrong? What did you get wrong in the first place? Why weren’t you securing the embassy how you should’ve been securing it in the first place? These are points that a Republican can make, that Mitt Romney needs to make since he is the one who jumped in, but he hasn’t come back to it. What an old hand might do is say ‘look you have to prosecute the case against the president in this way and not just let it be’.”
By considering bringing in someone to lead Romney’s campaign for him, the Republicans look as if they have lost faith in their candidate.
What may directly cost Romney his candidacy then, are not his rash statements or his campaign’s passive, reactive attitude, but rather Mitt Romney’s disconnect from the majority of the country (and now, seemingly, his fellow Republicans). A disconnect so marked, that the commentators diagnosed Romney as having an “authenticity problem” which is acting as a barrier between him and ambivalent voters who are wary of extending Obama’s presidency, but prefer him to a candidate that is perceived as having “no rudder”.
In a telling interview on Meet The Press this Sunday, host David Gregory asked the Republican presidential candidate about what he thought of his "out-of-touch" image. One which was recently reinforced by his comment that "his job is not to care for those [47 percent] people."
"Those people that try and minimize the feeling and connection that we have with the American people are missing the mark pretty badly and are trying to divide Americans based on who has money, and who is able to achieve success and who does not have as much and frankly, Americans are not defined by whether they were succesful financially or not, we are a nation that has come together."