The Washington Post

Romney's non-strategic behavior

Michael Shear makes an important point about Mitt Romney’s message in the past month: It’s been all over the place.  Instead of heeding advice from Republican wise owls like Ed Rogers, Romney has discarded his disciplined economic message and been talking about welfare, Medicare — courtesy of Paul Ryan — negative campaigning, foreign policy and Barack Obama’s supposed “war on religion.”

This is what strategists call “non-strategic” behavior.  Is it possible that Romney has polling that suggests his economic argument is running out of steam?  I doubt it. Frankly, I have no idea why the Romney campaign would dilute its “unique selling proposition” in  favor of diffusion. Shear speculates the shift may be the result of a renewed focus on exciting his base.  If so, that’s misguided.  The base wants to see Romney moving up and looking like a winner, not floundering with a message d’jour.

Romney’s advisers should see if they can buy a sign from the ’92 Clinton campaign on Ebay.  You know, the one that says, “It’s the economy….”

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