It is a widely held belief that a person campaigns for a political office because he or she wants to win.
After following this weekend's e exploits of the Romney and Santorum campaigns, we have to wonder…
Mitt Romney continued his efforts to connect with everyday Americans. The weekend started off well enough with Romney scheduled to deliver a major economic address in blue collar Detroit. The campaign promised that this important speech would lay out the specifics of governor’s economic plan and would draw a marked distinction between the former governor’s policies and those of the President. The governor addressed a crowd of 1,200 supporters…in cavernous Ford Field…surrounded by 65,000 empty seats. The optics were so bad that the governor’s remarks were lost in the silence. Campaign rule No.1…never hold an event in a room you can’t fill.
Not one to be deterred, Romney tried his hand at connecting with the American auto industry…the same industry he said should have been allowed to go out of business rather than be saved by a government bailout. Romney said he liked cars, particularly American cars. He said he drove a Ford Mustang and a Chevy PU (Good)…and that his wife, Ann “drives a couple of Cadillacs (Bad).”
Undaunted, the governor continued in his quest to bond with Joe Sixpack. He appeared at the Daytona 500; the World Series of NASCAR racing and home to hundreds of thousands of blue collar Americans. He signed autographs and had his photo taken…in front of a race car sponsored by rival, Rick Santorum. He said that he didn’t follow NASCAR as closely as some but noted that he “had a lot of friends who were NASCAR (multi-millionaire) team owners”.
If Romney’s weekend was bad…Santorum's was a trainwreck.
Once again the former senator went off the rails on social issues. He was asked to comment on an old film clip where JFK, who like Santorum was Catholic, said that his presidency would follow the Constitution and not be swayed by the Vatican or his own personal religious beliefs. Santorum said the clip “made me want to throw up.” He then went on to question the division between church and state.
Later, he volunteered his opinion on President Obama’s desire to have every child get a college education. “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob! There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them. Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.”
One thing is certain; Romney and Santorum’s image have been taking a beating. And this weekend's performance didn’t help.
Everyone agrees that the national election will be decided by the “Independent” voters. A Public Policy Poll of “Independent “ voters taken on the heels of this past weekend's follies shows Obama leading both Romney and Santorum by a 20 percentage points. Not good!
There is an old saying in politics that during a presidential campaign the people get to know you, and by the end they know who you are. Maybe that’s why the Republicans have cancelled all future debates. We already know too much.