Ed suggests that, in the wake of his brush with political death in Michigan, Mitt Romney reassess his approach and adjust his message. He goes on to say, correctly, that Romney has trouble connecting with voters.
Let's break this down. One is really about Romney’s personality, that complicated mix of what makes us who we are. For whatever reason — I have even suggested it might be Romney’s reluctance to embrace his truest self, a man of deep Mormon beliefs — Romney comes across as stilted with a minor case of political Tourette’s in which he blurts out odd and unhelpful phrases.
This is very, very hard to correct, and sometimes the fix is worse than the problem. You can see the damage caused when advisers get inside Romney’s head and say, “Be more real,” “connect,” “emote.” Romney reaches. That's how we get such attempts as his father was born in Mexico, he knows what it is like to sweat losing his job, etc.
So, my advice, after years of seeing this syndrome in candidates, is wince and bear it.
Ed's second point about Romney’s message is also interesting. I actually think Romney has the best possible message to win the general election of any of the Republicans. When he says he isn't willing “to light his hair on fire,” I think he means he isn't willing to go all Santorum on us and embrace the dark side of the Republican force. That actually serves him well— if he can just make it past the killing fields of the primaries.