The Seinfeld Campaign

Andrew Sullivan —  Mar 16 2012 @ 12:23pm


Josh Green recently pointed out that Romney looks like he's trying to run out the clock:

Romney’s stump speech is a collection of platitudes and the strange ritual recitation of the lyrics to “America the Beautiful.” As one of his fundraisers put it to John Heilemann of New York magazine, “I have never seen anything more ridiculous or belittling.” This creates the impression that Romney has nothing to say — or, worse, has chosen not to say anything substantive— and is trying to coast to the nomination. 

That's especially true of his economic "plan" which is currently so vague and so different from his original that it cannot even be scored. There's focus on the debt for you. His tax and defense proposals would explode the debt and deficit, and his Iran war would send the economy into a new depression. And yet he's going to balance the budget!

And, yes, when you see him singing or reciting banalities, you begin to realize, in the wake of all his endless Dr Who-style ideological regenerations, that there really is no there there, no solid person you can react to or understand. This is a campaign about someone who can be changed into anything. Which means to say it is a Seinfeldian campaign about nothing. Molly Ball checks in with party strategists who find the campaign wanting: 

Myopic, insular and overconfident, Team Romney has squandered the candidate's strengths and exacerbated his weaknesses, these critics charge.  They point to specific strategic miscues: the failure to cultivate low-dollar donors; a lack of outreach to the conservative movement and the media generally; and the fateful decision to overlook the Feb. 7 contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, where surprise wins for Rick Santorum catapulted him back into contention as Romney's principal challenger. … "I think they're extremely competent at the tactical things. They run a tight ship in terms of the nuts and bolts," said John Weaver, the former strategist to John McCain and Jon Huntsman. "But their messaging is a head-scratcher at times.

(Photoshopped Romney photo via The Blaze)