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Post Partisan
Posted at 04:14 PM ET, 11/06/2012

PostScript: Dana Milbank, Mitt Romney and ‘tomorrow’

On behalf of a news media that is honored to cover such an exciting, important election, PostScript would like to say to all of her reader (Hi, Dad!): Ohio! Wait, no, blue-collar whites! Nate Silver! Margin of error! Standard deviation! Polls close at 7 p.m. in Virginia. Coffee, please.

Luckily Dana Milbank was much more coherent in writing about Mitt Romney’s speech at George Mason University on Monday, which seems to have turned a sunshine-and-rainbows corner. Romney, Milbank reports, is suddenly talking about how tomorrow will be a brighter tomorrow, beginning tomorrow, and how people in the government should work together, which is NOT what we have invested all this time and energy into this campaign season, thank you very much. We would like angry and partisan scorched-earth Romney back again.

While media outlets are a little more comfortable calling the race a toss-up, most prognosticators willing to prognosticate are pointing, gently, to reelection for Barack Obama. One of the strongest such predictors is the fact that Romney, as Milbank notes, is talking a lot about reaching across the aisle in compromise. The Romney campaign’s shift toward touching, feeling and compromise presumably aims for an upset. Should that upset occur — should this late-game strategy shift work — would Romney then owe us a compromising touch-feel presidency?

Readers think this might even be the “real” Mitt Romney, since the final hours of a campaign have to be incredibly freeing.

criticalobserver thinks this nice man probably is Romney, but he’s lost critical’s vote anyhow:

Romney is different now. He is being himself now. He is no longer obligated to the Tea Party types that gave him the nomination and required from him an extreme right-wing position. I will vote for Obama, but in a way I am sorry for Romney, he was being used.

jfv123 says that PostScript’s formulation up above, that if today’s Romney wins today’s Romney would have to govern, is a media fantasy. Talk about tomorrow is not what will matter tomorrow:

Mr. Milbank is afraid Romney will win.
Already setting up the argument that Romney campaigned as a moderate.
But talking in a moderate tone of voice, smiling and telling stories instead of screaming did not change his message.
Romney’s substantive message has never changed.
- lower tax rates/ reduce tax deductions
- reform entitlement programs to save them for people who have already paid for them
- North American Energy Independence
- cut Government spending

Tobit says really, only an Etch a Sketch could have won this year’s Republican primary, so it’s not fair to hold changing positions and rhetoric against Romney:

His “last man standing” approach worked. He played “etch-a-sketch” on his positions but that’s kind of expected when he’s running against Perry and Cain. Obama has had four years and we are still stuck in neutral.

Observer581 dryly suggests that it all comes down — as it did in 2008 — to the candidate offering “change.” But that this time, it’s the Republican:

Romney has said that he is the man of change. He recognizes that change of seasons is a readily observable aspect of Nature. So, following Nature, he too kept changing his positions according to “season.” Romney is indeed the man of change.

So there you have it, folks. Ohio.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  04:14 PM ET, 11/06/2012

 
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