Originally Published: 18 February, 2012.
Highlights of the article include:
‘You know that person who tries a little too hard for everyone to like them. They laugh too loudly at every joke; they are perhaps a bit too friendly around the office; they always want to go out for drinks after work, but no one really wants to hang out with them. Perhaps they are the boss’s son who is working in the mailroom to get some experience in the “real world”. They might be a new transfer from another city. Maybe, they are just a little too awkward and self-conscious. It’s not that everyone hates them. There might even be a few people who think they’re “OK”. They just don’t have a lot of fans.
Mitt Romney is that guy of the 2012 presidential election.’
‘Romney’s solution for dealing with these upstarts [Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum] has been to run millions of dollars in negative ads. It’s a strategy he utilized to great effect against Gingrich, and he may do the same with Santorum in upcoming primaries in Michigan and Arizona. It might even work – but what does it say about Romney’s campaign that, after all these years of seeking the affirmation of Republican voters, he is now reduced to the point where to keep his presidential hopes alive, he must run negative advertisements against Rick Santorum?’
‘This is not the profile of a candidate who beats an incumbent president with loads of money and very strong support within his own party. In the American political system, it’s awfully hard to beat an incumbent. When they do fall (as Jimmy Carter, George Bush or Herbert Hoover all did) or don’t run for re-election (as Lyndon Johnson did not), the incumbents have some combination of three problems: they are facing off against an effective and enthusiastically supported challenger; they are hobbled by a lack of support within their own party; and they are generally dealing with an under-performing economy.’