Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Romney/Ryan: Rumblin' Stumblin' Bumblin'

The Rumblin’, Stumblin’ Bumblin’ Campaign continues. 
We commented on this topic the other day.  But this roll out of Paul Ryan has been so horrifically bad that it bears repeating.
The weeks between the announcement of the vice president pick and the national convention are traditionally a time of unbridled enthusiasm and rising poll numbers.  This is the time that the candidates strut their presidential bona fides before rabid crowds of party faithful.  It is the time when everything the candidate says is “genius” and the true believers can taste victory. It is the time of god, country, mom and apple pie.
Such is not the case with the Romney Campaign as it continues to sputter along with one fumble after another.
The Ryan roll-out started well.  Romney appeared more energized and confident than ever before.  Ryan, the boy wonder, seemed to infuse the campaign and the base with an energy that had been sorely lacking over the past several weeks.
But a mere thirty six hours later the wheels started to come off.  Romney began to distance himself from Ryan’s budget on 60 Minutes.  The next day he doubled down and either would not or could not delineate the differences between his budget and that of his running mate.  In an appearance staged before a backdrop of grimy faced coal miners the preppy Romney could not have looked more out of place.  Romney the automaton had returned to the campaign.
Ryan has not been much better. Constantly asked to comment on aspects of his own controversial budget plan he has struggled to move the conversation to the Romney budget; the budget on which the ticket is actually running.  Take his recent interview with Brit Hume on FOX NEWS.  Hume asked Ryan when we could actually expect to see a balanced budget.  After stumbling once again to turn the conversation to the Romney budget, Ryan could not answer the question saying they hadn’t actually run the numbers.  Now Ryan will never sit through a more favorable interview setting than he just did on FOX NEWS.  And the so called “budget guy” will never get a bigger series of softball questions than those served up by Mr. Hume.  But Ryan was hesitant and appeared uncomfortable; clearly having to think about what should have been easy responses.  Apparently debate prep is not part of the Romney/Ryan game plan.
Conservative pundits and even some Republican officials are deeply concerned.  Some have even said that they consider the run for the White House a lost cause and are focusing their efforts on gaining control of congress.
So what is it that causes previously successful individuals to look like bumbling fools when running for the two highest offices in the land?   Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are smart, accomplished guys.  But they have handled this window of opportunity like a Saint Bernard trying to catch a beach ball.
There is still time for Romney/Ryan to fix this.  But it is now far too late to say it’s still early.  

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