Monday, August 20, 2012

Why Mitt Can't Sell The Bad Economy

Mitt Romney keeps stammering around in an exasperated daze telling anyone who will listen, "This election was SUPPOSED to be about the economy".  Indeed, his wealthy backers probably used that to sell the idea of running TO HIM.  It was supposed to be a cakewalk.  Just babble about how bad the economy is and hello 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Of course, it hasn't worked that way, but Mitt still keeps repeating the messaging, assuming that people just must not have heard him say it enough times.  The reality is that people have heard the message, but just aren't buying it.  Here are some of the reasons that, even if the economy sucks, it is still not good enough to get Mitt elected.
Firstly there is the way too fricken obvious factor.  "The economy sucks."  No $hit $herlock.  Thanks for telling us.  There is nobody in this country who needs to be told that.  But even if people agree that sucks, they don't agree on why.  Mitt wants to sell the notion that (1) the economy sucks and (2) Obama is the president, so it MUST be his fault.  But people don't buy the second claim.  They gave George W. Bush slack on his own poor economic record and re-elected him.  Of course then he really cratered the already dismal economy, but that's a different story.
For a variety of reasons, most people don't think that the bad economy is Obama's doing.  Perhaps the biggest reason is because they see evidence of Obama trying something.  Of course, republicans have vehemently and instantaneously criticized anything and everything Obama has done, but that doesn't appear to matter, because regardless of whether his actions have been good or bad, at least people see him trying something and the fact that he is criticized for it just draws attention to this fact that he must be doing something.  Fox news and the Tea Party may not like the Stimulus or the GM Bailout, or the Bank bailout, but in the process to crying about all these things they have shown people that Obama is making an effort.
I think Obamacare works for a similar reason.  Most people are unsure or even critical of the program, which has yet to really get going in earnest anyway.  But, at least the average working job will look at it and say, "no matter what, I'm covered, even if I lose my job".  The average person isn't a tax accountant who is going to sit around quibbling about deficits and all manner of other contrived nonsense.  Believe me, Democrats tried to sell fiscal austerity too, for decades under Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, etc.  It didn't resonate with the voters.  When the alternative is having no health coverage you're not going to worry about whether some program with "add to the deficit".  You just want to see a doctor.
Yet poor Mitt keeps playing this losing hand like it was the ace up his sleeve.  Even the media has picked up on this because, every time something else happens they say, "Mitt was all set to hammer on 'the Economy' but then happened".  Actually, it would be better if Mitt talked about than the economy at this point, but don't expect him to be savvy enough to realize that.  He says Obama is trying to change the subject, but actually he should let Obama do that, because his current message just isn't selling, and his only chance is to start talking about something else.    

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