"Mittness Protection Program"
Ben Smith writes at Politico:
Call it the Mittness Protection Program.My Comments:
Through the hot summer of 2011, the front-runner for the Republican nomination has been in hiding.
Romney was hit repeatedly by his opponents and the Democrats for refusing to offer an opinion on the debt deal until twelve hours after Congressional leaders accepted it – but that’s just been the most obvious example of a campaign that’s keeping the candidate far from the front lines and the headlines.
“His strategy is clearly to play a lower profile so that he will draw less fire because he’s got a number of issues that he would rather not address,” said Mark Penn, who steered Hillary Clinton in similar waters in 2007.
“When voters worry that a candidate may be all things to everyone, every day that candidate fails to cement his identity, he risks validating their concerns. Silence can be assent,” said Alex Castellanos, a 2008 Romney adviser who no longer supports the former Massachusetts governor. “More importantly, once the fight starts, Governor Romney will be forced to establish his identity in a more competitive climate. It’s a lot harder to keep your candle lit in a windstorm.”
His rivals and critics, meanwhile, are beginning to hone in on his calculated refusal to take risky political positions, driven by apparent concern for the general election and by a second-time candidate’s understanding of the rhythm of political cycles.
“There’s a difference between not chasing every ball, and not getting in the arena,” said a spokesman for one rival, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. “In the ongoing battle of ideas for the future of America, Mitt Romney is a spectator with a record of cheering for both sides.”
"Mitness Protection Program" to describe Romney's penchant for remaining outside the fray until the outcome is certain before finally taking a position on an issue is frickin' brilliant! That's going to stick and, if the GOP is smarter than I give them credit for, will help keep Romney from winning the Republican nomination.