Politico reports on some Republicans’ bizarre idea for reviving Romney’s fortunes:
But as Romney tries to reignite his campaign following a slew of polling showing him trailing President Barack Obama, some Republican strategists argue that he should stage a dramatic campaign trail moment designed to break through the clutter and move the needle.
GOP strategists point to the campaign equivalent of Ronald Reagan’s 1987 declaration before the Berlin wall, where he challenged the Russian leader: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” [bold mine-DL]
So if all goes according to plan, whatever it is that Romney calls for in his “dramatic” moment will come to pass over two years later at a time when he is not President. It just might work. It’s telling that these strategists aren’t using an example of what previous presidential candidates have done, because there aren’t many positive examples that come to mind. Naturally, the strategists fall back on a moment from Reagan’s time in office. Even when imagining implausible comeback scenarios, the need to indulge in Reagan nostalgia wins out. The practical recommendations aren’t likely to have the desired effect:
Suggestions include a Romney appearance at the Keystone XL pipeline to pound his energy strategy, and to do more unscheduled stops in diners or other local haunts like the Florida Obama visit that resulted in the president being lifted off the ground in a bear hug.
The advice to be “something dramatically real” takes for granted that a “dramatically real” Romney would be more attractive than whatever he is at the moment. Romney’s trouble is that his reputation as a phony and a panderer is so well-established now that any change that he makes is immediately dismissed as a new attempt in pandering. Perversely, Romney’s seemingly endless capacity for pandering makes it more difficult for him to break out of bad campaign habits. No one has tried to fake authenticity more than Romney, and everyone expects whatever he does to be contrived and put-on for their benefit. Romney has already had his defining moment or moments, and they have defined him variously as an international bungler, a cynical opportunist, and a living caricature of a Republican candidate. The time for him to define himself passed many months ago, and stopping off in a few more diners isn’t going to change that.