February 8, 2008


Why Romney's Product Launch Failed (Michael Scherer, 2/07/08, TIME)

As a problem for political scientists, Romney's failure is far less difficult to understand, since the very qualities that made him such a success in the private sector helped prove his undoing at the polls. In politics, unlike business, adaptability can be a liability. In politics, unlike business, success is not measured in strictly quantitative terms. Voters want leaders, not just capable managers — men or women who can inspire trust and inspiration. Romney never convinced enough voters that he was that man.

By all appearances, Romney approached the problem of winning the White House with the same rigor of the "strategic audits" that allowed him to earn more than $100 million as a business consultant at Bain Capital. Beginning shortly after his victory as Massachusetts governor, he appeared to shift his more moderate stances on a number of hot-button issues. In each case, his new position lined up remarkably well with the conservative base of the Republican Party. Just years after courting the gay vote in Massachusetts, Romney became a national spokesman for the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. After running two campaigns as a pro-choice politician, he became a leader of the pro-life cause in Massachusetts. Despite scant experience as a hunter and a history of supporting some gun control, he joined the National Rifle Association.

Would you invest in a scheme to sell a Northeastern liberal Mormon to the conservative Christian party?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2008 6:26 AM
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