Last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner caused quit the stir when he suggested that voters “will probably not fall in love” with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Boehner’s assessment is not the greatest news for Romney either, as the former Massachusetts Governor continues to try and convince party activists that he passes their conservative endowment test. Romney seems to be facing the same problems that failed candidates such as John Kerry & Bob Dole suffered in that no matter what they do, it just seems that people can not get enthusiastic about them.
Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential victory was a successful movement with millions of overtly enthusiastic younger voters and party veterans that were united in their trek to supplant themselves into the history books. Obama had the humble background, excellent oratory skills & the appeal of a fresh political face in his quest to become the first minority President of the United States. Obama also represented a new generation of voters that suffered from either apathy or distaste over a chaotic eight years that signified the George W. Bush administration which was filled with old Republican insiders and numerous controversies.
2008 though was not any other year. Americans were growing tired of the wars that were supposed to be over by now, the quick near-destruction of the “too big to fail” banks and the everlasting fear that they might lose their homes and their jobs. This was no longer an election that was going to elect the 44th President but one that was going to hopefully change the way America was going to do things. John Q. Public wanted a drastic change to replace the institutions that grew long in the tooth.
Instead Americans soured on the whole concept of politics since then and we saw two (originally) citizen-backed coalitions seeking radical change spring up; those being the Tea Party & Occupy movements. Polarization between the two parties have reached an all-time high and while non-political junkies crave an independent or centrist voice, party purists demanded those be stricken from their positions.
Now, in the post-Citizens United political quagmire that we find ourselves currently existing in; the American public seems to be split into two factions. For some reason, it seems that you are either pro-business or pro-politics. You either believe the two overlap or they sign some sort of pseudo-peace treaty and no longer cohabitate. That has led to an uprising amongst the right and left which is seen the most on social media platforms. Just ask yourself, when was the last time a non-political hashtag wasn’t trending on Twitter?
Politics has slowly evolved into a spectator sport and with social media’s important place in the institution, we are seeing the internet equivalent of throngs of face-painted fans spring up. It has led to the 140-character political soundbite that has made President Barack Obama “the first food-stamp President” (which continues to be the most oft-repeated lie of the uniformed) and Mitt Romney into a pioneer in outsourcing as opposed to job creation.
But back to our original thesis, does the American public need to love Mitt Romney or face it; anyone to elect them as President?
Of course. Mitt Romney supporters often appear to be nothing but political followers that have nothing but severe distaste for President Obama. How do I know that they don’t love Mitt Romney? If they were infatuated with him and hated President Obama so much, they would find out that Mitt Romney once believed in every single accomplishment that “didn’t work” for Obama.
The anti-Obama coalition obviously desperately wants him out of office and are willing to elect a man who once ideologically matched with him on most major issues in this election. In fact, the one difference between Romney ’02 and Obama ’08-’12 is that Romney won’t talk about his previous accomplishments as Obama is willing to discuss Romney’s political victories.
Why do you think that the only thing Mitt Romney is comfortable about are the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City? Easy, it’s simply because that is the one thing that Romney has over Obama. He assisted in bringing something to America that is universally loved and something that Obama didn’t put later into law. That is all Mitt Romney has that he is willing to talk about and pat himself on the back for.
It is also the one thing that Mitt Romney has that Americans love. By associating himself with the Olympics, the candidate who has come under fire with Swiss Bank Accounts has something that can make him the source of American pride.
But will it work?