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Romney’s “hide and hope they don’t seek me” media strategy

Romney’s “hide and hope they don’t seek me” media strategy

LI reader and blogger Jeff Dobbs has a post up about Romney’s media strategy, which can be termed “hide and hope they don’t seek me” (that’s my term).  Jeff compares it to Obama’s strategy in 2008 of carefully controlling his exposure to the media.

The strategy worked for Obama because he didn’t need to interact with the media for the media to adore him.  In effect, Obama received all of the upside with none of the downside.

But I don’t think it’s working for Romney.  I assume his advisors would call it a “long game” or something similar, but at the rate he’s going, it’s hard to know if there will be a game unless he gets out there unscripted and mixes it up.

I feel like screaming, “get out there and fight, damn it, show us what you have.”  Romney’s cloistered campaign life has him on the verge of becoming Tim Pawlenty.

While I support Newt, I am not anti-Romney.

If Romney does wins the nomination, I want him to be a better general election candidate for the challenge.  So far, that’s not happening.


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Obama has never had a rough interview that he couldn’t cut short. Romney suffers from the same problem.

Yes, Romney needs to go for it instead of being so afraid to fail. He’s going to be tried either now or in the election. If you want to be president it does no good to win the nomination by default just to go on and be beaten in the general because it’s the first time you are challenged. He’s going to get beat up at some point, and if he survives he’ll win. Don’t coast to the nomination because then you can’t guarantee you’ll win when it really matters.

The media want Romney to win the nomination. They’re holding back from going after him for that reason. Oh, they ae making noises about going after him only because they noticed some of us have realized what their game is and pointed it out to others. They are still trying to manipulate the election and pick our candidate. When or if they pick Romney, they will smash him with everything they can come up with. Of course they will do this to any candidate we elect, but Romney is a particularly bad choice for us. Conervatives don’t like him and won’t vote for him. They are likely to become disgusted with the whole process and opt out. Politics is a dirty game and the media make it even dirtier. With such an outstanding teacher like obama how could they not be. He is a master at dirty politics.

I think his staff are hoping Gingrich will either self-destruct or the media will fabricate something that will destroy him.

Its worked for him so far.

I don’t think it will work with Gingrich though. The skeletons are long since out of the closet, are old news, and aren’t likely to result in his destruction.

Its a big risk. Gingrich is under the microscope now and seems to be holding up well. If he survives the scrutiny, and Romney hasn’t changed his strategy, Gingrich will win big.

What’s working for Gingrich is that he’s running a positive campaign (the same thing that vaulted Cain to frontrunner status). He’s giving us reasons to vote FOR him, and the base is getting excited. Its far more effective than trying to tear down your opponent.

Romney’s been running for President for six years now. I’m a news junkie that lived in MA when Romney was Governor, and I couldn’t pin down his position on any issue if my life depended on it. He’s held every possible position on most issues and you never know where he is on any given day. I have no idea what he stands for, other than himself for President.

I’ve been firmly in the “not-Romney” camp from the beginning. If he wins the primary, I’ll support him against Obama, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Or if obama is not a master of dirty politics (we have no proof he is a master of anything), the guy who pulls the strings in his back is…David Axelrod.

Romney has always reminded me of the governor in the movie “The Best Little Whorhouse In Texas”. Mmmmmm, I like to sidestep.

[…] Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has summed up Romney’s primary strategy nicely as “hide and hope they don’t seek me.”  His conclusions can’t be faulted given things like Romney’s refusal to debate […]

PatriotGal2257 | December 5, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I’m not a Romney supporter in the first place, so his attitude doesn’t surprise me. It’s intimately related to the fact that he can’t take a definitive position on any issue and says whatever will put him in voters’ good graces. To me, he also lacks that quality that Haley Barbour and several other early presidential hopefuls talked about last year: fire in the belly. Oh, Mitt wants to be president all right. He’s a decent enough guy; he just doesn’t want to have to fight for it. Barbour knew he didn’t have it and was wise enough to go with his gut. Romney seems to me always to be trying to convince himself that he has that fire in the belly when he really doesn’t. I certainly don’t get the sense that he will go on the offensive with Obama if he is the nominee. I *can* see him getting flustered and stammer and splutter his way through any encounter he will have with either Obama or especially the media, particularly when they have their sights squarely on him.

In any other election year, it wouldn’t be a major factor. But what we need in 2012 is a presidential candidate who will fight for this nation like it has never been fought for before. And Romney isn’t it.

“While I support Newt, I am not anti-Romney….

No one can afford to be anti-Romney or anti-Newt at this stage. We should all be circling our wagons against the Left Media Complex. The two front-runners should not waste time and money running ads or working with the enemy against each other.

I am anti-Romney.

The strategy for this election can not be “beat Obama at any cost”. some things come at too high a price. Either we replace Obama with some other warm body BESIDES Romney or we concede that office and wage war for Congress while Obama wastes the DNC’s money defending his own seat.

We need to not only replace Democrats with conservatives but we need to replace Boehner, also with a conservative. To do this conservatives need to use their support wisely. Just voting for whomever the RNC designates is how we got into this mess.

Take over Congress and use the power of the purse against Obama.

Replacing Barry Obama with Willard Mitt Obama isn’t going to get us out of the mess we are in. It will just continue more of the same.

newt has been more liberal than mitt for the last decade, and nobody has a more conservative platform than mitt.

since 2007 mitt has been great. he got us scott brown and rubio. and make no mistake about it: brown is better than a dem any day of the week and twice on sunday.

and another thing:

newt won’t get independents to vote for him; mitt will.

ergo: mitt can win and newt cannot – on the top of the ticket.

end of story.

    Darkstar58 in reply to reliapundit. | December 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    newt won’t get independents to vote for him; mitt will.

    Just curiosity, where does all this independent support for Mitt come from?

    Mitt got elected Gov in 2002 with less then 50% of the votes, and was mainly benefited by a nasty 5 way race the Democrat candidate faced, plus the addition of a Green Party candidate that took even more support for O’Brien away. Its about as weak of a win as you can find, and he didn’t run for re-election because it was clear he was going to get annihilated.

    Skip to 2008 Presidential election, and specifically the first primary. Mitt gets 25% of the vote, which is actually about 10 points higher then his support in that state right now despite the fact he has basically been campaigning every day since then. So over 6 years of campaigning and Romney has lost 10% of his support in Iowa alone!

    If you look at polls though, you will see that moderates give him a “favorable” of 50%, the same you get from Conservatives – again, despite 6 years of campaigning! Six years trying to become president and he has about 50% of his voter base having something other then a negative feeling from him.

    Seriously, again, how is he going to get elected again? Just because the Liberal Media and Establishment Republicans say that he is the strongest possibility – despite his having no real support from anyone on any side of the aisle?

Every day, the professor rightly bemoans the fact that the media are punching hard for the Democrats, missing no opportunity to boost Obama, and working overtime to destroy the GOP candidates.

But now Romney is either weak or cowardly by carefully controlling his interaction with these same tough, often dirty adversarial medis. He should stop “hiding.”

Actually, this kind of discipline worked well for Obama and will work even better for Romney, given the normal hostility of most media to Repubicans.

The point of asserting control is not to hide. It is to try to maximize the extent to which free media reflects the message the candidate wants it to send on any given day or in any given week. It is not merely to avoid the negative impact of reporting of “gaffes” or mistakes, although that is important.

When you appear on one of the Sunday interview shows, for example, whatever else you say, the media will pick out one 5-10 second bite. It might be a perfectly normal, non-gaffe bite, but it probably will not be the message you would have chosen yourself for Sunday-Monday consumption.

Gingrich has no use for discipline generally, loves exposure, thinks he can handle it all without problems arising (is he really so unique that these sharks can’t get him?), and in any case has no choice but to soak up free tv time wherever he can get it. His surge is so sudden that he has neither the money, staff and other resources to fully capitalize on it. The one asset he has to keep building on his current momentum is his mouth. I would do the same thing.

It is far from clear which approach is the more dangerous. Sure, Romney risks letting the whole thing get away from him. But Newt risks committing gaffes and mistakes and being ambushed by interviewers. Not incidentally, he also risks overexposure, which can happen in a few weeks. For lots of GOP voters, Newt is new, odd though that seems. They like what they hear — but when they have heard it for the twentieth time, well, voters are fickle.

We will see soon enough.

@SenJohnMcCain John McCain
Bad news: Another below-the-belt Joe Klein hit piece on Romney. Good news: Nobody cares.

And here I thought John was nevr going to try to get even for all those JornoList stories that Joe Klein rode out in front of.

I know its off-topic, but I have to get it off my chest…

Hey lookie there, right this minute Michele Bachmann is doing an interview, AGAIN

And wow, in this interview, Michele Bachmann is attacking the other candidates, AGAIN

OMG, and now she is bragging about how everyone really supports her and how everyone is actually going to vote for her, AGAIN

Oooh, and she just changed the topic multiple times on the first (and only) actual topical question she faced, AGAIN

Why oh why must we suffer thru this same repetitive nonsense multiple times every singe day? Someone please, please, please tell her she is hurting herself with the constant wantie-ness and obsessive attack-dog mentality

huskers-for-palin | December 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Bob Dole went for those wonderful indies….where dat get him?
Same for McCain (like Dole was a buddy buddy with the MSM).

Both ended up turning off the base by being mushy. McCain got Palin which helped, but when you suspend the campaign and act weak, you could have Jesus as VP and it ain’t gonna matter.

Romney, you can’t hide in today’s media environment.

I don’t know who will do best among independents but I am fairly sure actual conservatives will avoid Romney like week-old clam chowder. If the conservative base sits out the election because of Romney then the GOP will lose.

Frankly, I suppose the GOP establishment is working their butts off to find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2012…

CenterRightMargin | December 6, 2011 at 9:49 am

Professor, you “advice” to Romney would be disastrous for him. Essentially, you are suggesting that he follow the Bachman plan – attack, attack, attack. That got her…. Nowhere. Newt’s success has been in not attacking. Pawlenty’s failure was not in not attacking, but in 1) dropping out too early due to silly shortsighted punditry, and 2) trying to attack in a manner that didn’t suit his personality. Mitt needs to focus on building the case FOR Mitt. That’s something he, quite frankly, hasn’t done very well. And he needs to get better at dealing with questions he doesn’t like. And, of course, he should distinguish Newt and himself (and vice versatile), but not in an attacking or unfair way (which Mitt tends to do), but in a matter of fact comparison and analysis, with both grace and charity to Newt (and other candidates, too).

I worked on his Senate campaign in MA. At one time he was leading Kennedy in the polls. The problem, then and now, is that Romney is a horrible campaigner. He knows that, and has decided his best strategy is to hide from voters and hope to win by default. If he is the nominee, Obama and the MSM will turn him into a laughing stock, and they won’t even raise a sweat.

Romney garnered the Lisa Murkowski endorsement. Tonight Lisa Murkowski was one of the few Republicans to vote with Democrats attempt to move a radical judicial nominee.

” Ms. Halligan’s confirmation has been vigorously opposed by the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and Committee for Justice. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously rejected her confirmation earlier this year. In 2003, as Solicitor General of New York, Halligan attempted to hold gun manufacturers liable for criminal acts committed with handguns. She filed briefs in federal court arguing for the unconstitutionality of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which the National Rifle Association described as providing “essential protection…for the Second Amendment rights of honest Americans[.]”

Halligan also filed an amicus brief in arguing that federal RICO laws should be used against pro-life groups. She repeatedly attempted to hijack the federal court system in order to impose her own political beliefs on the general public.”