Remember Michael Dukakis (1988) and John Kerry (2004)? It’s possible to lose a winnable presidential election to a vulnerable incumbent in the White House (or in the case of 1988, a sitting vice president). So, speaking of losing candidates from Massachusetts: Is it too much to ask Mitt Romney to get off autopilot and actually think about the race he’s running? […]
[…] The Romney campaign will answer that they’re imitating Bill Clinton in 1992, who famously focused on “the economy, stupid.” But Bill Clinton was a full spectrum presidential candidate, with detailed policy proposals on welfare reform, health care, education, and foreign policy. He also made real efforts to convince the voters he was different from the losing Democratic candidates who preceded him (“a new kind of Democrat,” “ending welfare as we know it,” a hawkish-sounding foreign policy, Sister Souljah, etc.). So far, the Romney campaign doesn’t resemble the Clinton campaign. It seems to be following more comfortably in the tradition of the five post-Cold War Republican presidential candidates who preceded Romney. They received 37.5 percent, 40.7 percent, 47.9 percent, 50.7 percent, and 45.7 percent of the vote, respectively. The average GOP presidential vote in these last five elections was 44.5 percent. In the last three, it was 48.1 percent. Give Romney an extra point for voter disillusionment with Obama, and a half-point for being better financed than his predecessors. It still strikes me as a path to (narrow) defeat. – Dukakis, Kerry … Romney?
The notion that Mitt Romney could come close to “imitating Bill Clinton in 1992” is laughable. Watch the video.
After twelve years of Reagan-Bush-Bush, the country was depleted and gasping, Democrats desperate, because the last memory of a winning campaign was Carter in ’76, with his presidency a disaster for the party.
William Jefferson Clinton governed as a neoliberal, actually paving the way for the even more conservative and vacuously non-ideological Barack Obama. Clinton also offered economical solutions through corporate-based ideas tied into Wall Street’s 1% and was able to sell them easily.
The way Clinton campaigned in ’92 shows the political talent of a man that was just getting started, with people and policy skills Mr. Romney couldn’t touch on his very best day in his life.