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Peggy Noonan to Romney: “Mitt, this isn’t working.”

IT’S BEEN a very bad few weeks for Mitt Romney, which just got worse. How bad is it? Read Peggy Noonan today.

Republicans are going to have to right this thing. They have to stabilize it.

It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one. It’s not big, it’s not brave, it’s not thoughtfully tackling great issues. It’s always been too small for the moment. All the activists, party supporters and big donors should be pushing for change. People want to focus on who at the top is least constructive and most responsible. Fine, but Mitt Romney is no puppet: He chooses who to listen to. An intervention is in order.

This comes after she begins her piece by telling Romney to “peer deep into the abyss” and “look straight into the heart of darkness where lies a Republican defeat in a year the Republican presidential candidate almost couldn’t lose.”

The article goes on, Noonan telling Romney that he “needs to get serious here,” clearly signaling that people have got to go. She also wasn’t very sanguine about Mitt’s Middle East declarations.

Noonan finishes with a plea. Get a posse around Mitt Romney. He’s “sad-looking” and “lonely.”

“Time for the party to step up,” she begs. “Party elders,” get busy.

Meanwhile, two Senate candidates, Scott Brown and Linda McMahon, both distanced themselves from Romney after his 47% gaffe caught on tape.

It’s time for an “intervention” is her closing of a column that is deeply wounded over what she’s watching, while believing Mitt Romney can turn things around, but only with help and a reversal of what’s going on. Noonan also has a choice rhetorical shiv for Stewart Stevens, the scapegoat of the moment.

The problem is that the policies of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan don’t seem to be swaying people, except the base. In battleground states, the economy is starting to feel differently, with some momentum felt, at least for those who bother to vote. Even if another massive financial crisis is looming, according to Neil Barofsky, no one believes Mitt Romney would or could stop whatever might be waiting in the future. Mitt Romney wants to double down on Pentagon spending, too.

Then there’s the real issue that after all this time people still don’t buy Mitt Romney’s the fix-it man. Maybe that will change if the Romney campaign takes Noonan’s advice, but I’m not seeing it.

What makes Peggy Noonan think Mitt Romney will even listen to her? Well, at least she’s on record for begging.

It’s all so pathetic.

Mitt Romney doesn’t deserve such loyalty from a Republican. He’s disgraced himself and his political party, but he’s had help. All of the men who ran against Romney, and one woman, are indicative of a political party whose message at a time of ultimate crisis has been to continue tax cuts to the wealthy, and demand the poor and elderly buck up and pay their fair share.

Then there’s the unsaid, which was emphasized by Republicans jumping on an Obama “redistribution” line.

None of the Republicans understand or respect that without the government reach of the United States infrastructure our country would never have survived what Wall Street and the crooks gambling with our money did to this country, which continues.

Obama used part of the force of the government to right a financial disaster, though there was more he could have unleashed.

President Obama went on David Letterman last night to prove once again why Mitt Romney has Peggy Noonan freaked out. I’ve got policy disagreements galore with our President, but even at his clinging to their guns and religion worst, Barack Obama has always had his gaze towards bringing fighting factions of both political parties together. If you’ve learned anything from reading my writing that’s one thing that should stuck, because I’ve been writing about it since 2007 as one of the things that frustrates the hell out of me.

I don’t want a Democratic president to make “grand bargain” gestures, pander to the Stupaks of the world, choose politics over science for votes. I don’t want him to tweet support during a critical union showdown instead of showing up. I don’t want a Democratic president to have a foreign policy that includes drone strikes that inflame people to the point of savage rage, bombings on countries because we can, while staying in Afghanistan after the mission was accomplished. Al Qaeda’s gone, screw the Taliban, the people have got a start.

However, since Barack Obama came into office he’s pledged to be the president of all the people, while proving he’s willing to bend for the 47% Romney won’t. It’s made me fillet our President on more than one occasion.

But saving Mitt Romney? He’s an irredeemable politician with policies that have already been tried and failed, though this time they’re coming for our government infrastructure, which is serious business. So to Peggy I simply say it’s never going to work.

Even the Tea Party likes their Social Security and Medicare, with no one wanting to turn them into private accounts or vouchers.

You think the Bush great recession was bad? Imagine the U.S. without our safety net, without government as a backstop for our complex modern society.

Republicans have run out of time, ideas and, as Mitt Romney continues to prove week after week, people to peddle them.

Democrats have their problems, but at least they’re not running on taking the rug out from underneath the poorest and neediest among us. That is, accept when they buy into Republicanism, because they’ve momentarily lost their minds.

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12 Responses to Peggy Noonan to Romney: “Mitt, this isn’t working.”

  1. guyski September 19, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    Is it too early to cast a conclusion to the election? It is understandable that both sides try to establish a narrative as November approaches, but what about the public? That small percentage of voters that will make the decision?

    Every September Gallup does polling that asks the public how they feel about the media; trust/distrust the media and perceived bias. It will be interesting to see if it will increase/decrease this year compared to last year. Last year 55 percent did not trust the media at all or very little.

    So do these flare ups really have the impact that people perceive? And also another question is timing. Things move fast now days; for example. it’s hard to believe that the olympics ended just five weeks ago, seems a lot longer. Anyway do things like these video/audio tapes just get lost in the blur?

    • spincitysd September 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm #


      It is the Chinese Water Torture effect: drip, drip, drip, drip, etc. Each unforced error by R-money tears a small chunk out of his electability.

      Mitt has been flubbing it for months now. The foreign policy clown show in summer, the pandering to the base with Ryan, the obvious political play he made after the Benghazi tragedy, and now the double-barrel hit of the tape have shone a harsh light on Romney.

      Willard cannot keep taking these hits, in a close election every misstep is dangerous. Too many missteps is fatal. Mitt is in danger of being tagged a looser, and that is not where he needs to be. There is a small cohort of “Independent” voters who will vote for just about any politician if they view him as a winner. Mitt might even loose support with Republican leaning Independents because they figure that there is no use in voting for the man.

      If past is prologue, and I see no indication that it is not, Mitt will continue to make these unforced errors. It’s damn hard to run if you keep shooting yourself in the foot, and that is what Mitt continues to do.

  2. Taylor Marsh September 19, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    I’d argue that what’s been happening with Romney is hardly a “flare up.” He’s been fumbling for weeks now.

    The other issue is that Romney’s also lost command of the only issue on which he can win in November: the economy.

    Obama’s gained 6 points and now has tied him.

    Can Romney come back? Absolutely. But his campaign team would need to change on a dime and prove they’re not incompetent.

    Noonan does everything but cry on the page in this column, while Bill Kristol basically has a rabid temper tantrum. Republicans are freaking out & for good reason.

    • guyski September 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      From Gallup today (they said it better than me):

      Implications concerning 47% remark:

      The immediate impact of Romney’s comments appears to be more negative than positive, which suggests that the comments could hurt Romney’s ultimate chances of winning the election. Still, the long-term impact of any news event that FLARES UP (caps added) in the heat of a presidential campaign is difficult to determine. This is particularly true in today’s more polarized news environment in which audiences of conservative-oriented vs. liberal-oriented media outlets are likely to hear quite different interpretations of the flap, and from different commentators. Regardless, both campaigns will clearly be heavily spinning the story in the days ahead.

  3. Solo September 19, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Flare up? It’s been one mistake after the next for the Romney Campaign and most of them can be tied to the candidate himself. It was Mitt’s idea to send Clint Eastwood out on stage during prime-time to talk to chair. During which when the rest of the country was wincing he was actually laughing backstage thinking Eastwood’s antics were coming off well! Then there was his initial reaction to the embassy attack that turned out to be completely wrong and premature. The press release was completely his idea. As was his press conference 12 hours later were he compounded his mistake. Now comes this tape! Mitt Romney is a bad candidate running an inept campaign, there simply is no way around that conclusion.

    For the GOP that reality has to sting because they have been trying to sell this guy to the American people as this genius turn around artist! A business management pro that we desperately need in dysfunctional DC! What the American people are seeing though is a man who can’t even manage his own campaign effectively. He has these people working in his campaign who are clearly not serving him well but he refuses to get rid of them! Who does that sound like?

    PS: As I was writing this post just saw a report that Mitt’s dad was on welfare when he was young. It turns out that George Romney was once part of the 47% Mitt thinks are worthless deadbeats! Their is a vid on Mitt’s mom say’s as much! Courtesy The Daily Kos

    • Jane Austen September 19, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Solo – I wonder where his family would be had they not received a hands up from the government of this country. To be truthful I’m one of the 47%. Of course, I’m retired after working and paying taxes since I was 15, raising my children on my own and working after their father died when I was 37. Yes I received survivor benefits but they ended when the kids turned 16 or 18 (I forget what age). And they were only for the two youngest. I never got food stamps and paid for my own health care through my employer. I never got any assistance of any other kind so I resent Mr. Romney’s remarks about the 47%. I don’t think this man has empathy for anyone. He’d rather the 47% just disappear.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter September 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

        Jane…his Daddy was on RELIEF!!! His Momma said so!!That is welfare for the youngsters.

  4. Isis September 19, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    I remember reading that Barack means “lucky or blessed”. His mother and/or father chose his name well, few politicians have been as lucky as this guy. In a year when he really should be losing the election or struggling to win he faces Mitt….

    • Solo September 19, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      You know the old saying, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good! In President Obama’s case he is both lucky and good! That equals winner!

      • Jane Austen September 19, 2012 at 11:07 am #

        We all need a bit of luck in life.

  5. Marie205 September 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    I think Mitt Romney needs to return back to his original message on the “Economy”…because right now he is all over the place. It seems like his campaign freaked out and started attacking Obama for every little thing…thus, ignoring the only thing that was working the Economy tagline.

    I don’t know who is advising Romney but they need to be fired. Obama still has a long away to go before November….so his supporters should not get to happy. Mitt Romney has already proven he will say and do anything to be President…so never count out a person like that making a come back.

    And right now, Mitt Romney is a desperate and dangerous man….with tons of Super pac cash.

    • spincitysd September 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      Talk to me about the economy a month ago, and I would agree with you Marie205. But not anymore; that ship, if it has not sailed, has at least pulled up the gangway and has tow-boats along side.

      Mitt’s economic message depends on his ethos as a business man. It depends on whether people believe in his competence. As that ethos is taking a hell of a beating. I’ve have never, ever seen a national level politician step on as many rakes as Willard has.

      At first it was kind of fun, in a unsympathetic schadenfreude way, to mock the man. But now, it is no longer any fun at all. It is just painful to watch. I want to barge in and at least offer the dolt an ice-pack.

      Unfortunately, I can not offer relief. There are way too many unaccounted for rakes laying about in the tall grass, and Mitt seems bound and determined to step on every one of them.

      It is a if you had a exterminator come to bid on your house and he was covered head to foot with sprung rat traps, mouse traps, fox raps, bear traps, you name it; are you going to hire that man? Not bloody likely Marie205. Romney’s flailing about for the last three week has cost him his best talking point. People are not seeing a titan of industry, they are seeing the class clown.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong