How bad has the past week been for Romney, between the Libya remarks and the “47 percent” video? Bad enough that this bit from The Onion is just barely funny:
DALLAS—With his campaign still reeling from a series of miscues, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney asked a group of top advisers Wednesday whether it would be worth going after Obama by questioning the nation of his birth. “What about that whole deal with his birth certificate, or him being born in Kenya or wherever—you think that might stick?” said Romney, adding he was “just spitballing here.” “Also, wasn’t he connected to that terrorist guy, what’s-his-name? Ayers? Bill Ayers? That might have legs, right? Let’s look into that.” After agreeing that the situations should be investigated, Romney and his aides then reportedly sat in silence for 10 whole minutes.
And somewhere out there, some second-guessing Republicans are thinking, “The Donald is tanned, rested and ready…”
Meanwhile, over in a quarter where none of this is funny, one WSJ columnist is lecturing the nominee that his loyalty should be to the country, not his hapless campaign staff, and Karl Rove is saying yes, the situation is bad, but it’s not over — after all, Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan at this point in 1980.
Speaking of Reagan, Peggy Noonan is writing that it’s “Time for an Intervention:”
What should Mitt Romney do now? He should peer deep into the abyss. He should look straight into the heart of darkness where lies a Republican defeat in a year the Republican presidential candidate almost couldn’t lose. He should imagine what it will mean for the country, for a great political philosophy, conservatism, for his party and, last, for himself. He must look down unblinkingly.
And then he needs to snap out of it, and move…
The central problem revealed by the tape is Romney’s theory of the 2012 election. It is that a high percentage of the electorate receives government checks and therefore won’t vote for him, another high percentage is supplying the tax revenues and will vote for him, and almost half the people don’t pay taxes and presumably won’t vote for him.
My goodness, that’s a lot of people who won’t vote for you. You wonder how he gets up in the morning.
This is not how big leaders talk, it’s how shallow campaign operatives talk: They slice and dice the electorate like that, they see everything as determined by this interest or that. They’re usually young enough and dumb enough that nobody holds it against them, but they don’t know anything. They don’t know much about America.
We are a big, complicated nation. And we are human beings. We are people. We have souls. We are complex. We are not data points. Many things go into our decisions and our political affiliations.
You have to be sophisticated to know that. And if you’re operating at the top of national politics, you’re supposed to be sophisticated…
And this is what Mitt Romney is hearing from what should be his cheering section.