The responses from the elected Republicans, while not QUITE as vitriolic, were similarly worded and focused. Bottom line: Their reaction seemed to be: How dare the president campaign against us! And as we pointed out yesterday, Obama isn’t necessarily running against Mitt Romney; he’s running against the Republican Party brand — and making sure that Romney owns that brand. In fact, Romney’s biggest challenge over the next two or three months will be for him to differentiate himself from the brand. There’s been a lot of focus of late on how damaged Romney has become in this process (his high negatives with indies, etc). But we’ve noticed a larger trend: The brand of the GOP is what’s been damaged; Romney may simply be collateral damage. And this is why he has to figure out a way to either improve the GOP’s brand or differentiate himself. Which can he achieve?
The criticism of Romney for being “out of touch” etc. make me a bit uncomfortable. I’ll go along with them because I’m an unserious partisan, but generally speaking, you can spare me the beer primary. The criticism of Romney as a party hack who will do whatever the wingers in Congress want him to do, on the other hand, is right on the money. That’s why Romney scares me so much. He may not be a crazy motherfucker from around the way, but Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are.
If and when Romney loses in November, there will be a lot of Republican handwringing about how a “rock star” like Chris Christie or Marco Rubio would have won. But the fault lies not in their stars but in themselves, that they are lunatics.