October 6, 2012

AN ECHO, NOT A CHOICE:

An Unspinnable Debate : How Romney won a clear victory in Denver. (JAMES W. CEASER, 10/15/12, The Weekly Standard)

The plain fact is that many of the voters who are undecided at this point are the very ones who are sick of deadlock and partisan conflict. Partisans and "big idea" people may think what they will, but this feeling in the electorate was a significant reason for Obama's appeal in 2008. Romney captured the postpartisan mantle from Obama at the point where the president brought out what he thought was his trump card, commending Mitt Romney for initiating Romneycare. Romney took the compliment, insisted on some of the differences with Obama-care, and then showed how he had passed his program in Massachusetts working with a legislature that was 87 percent Democratic. The Frank Luntz focus group of independents found this to be one of the most appealing moments in the debate. Romney's supposed Achilles' heel, after his political ACL surgery, has turned into one of his greatest strengths.  

These two themes--a leader whose empathy comes from strength and conviction and a person whose bold plans are not in tension with a temperament conducive to bipartisanship--are the "takeaways" from last week that can put Mitt Romney on the path to victory.

While the twenty percent on either wing still imagine themselves locked in a twilight struggle between the 1st Way and the 2nd, the other 60% are just choosing which party should be managing the Third Way transition.  

Posted by at October 6, 2012 6:41 AM
  

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