The Gang That Can’t Message Straight

The Romney campaign continues its promises to come up with an overarching message, but so far they’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall.  Maybe the effect of having their HQ in the North End of Boston?!

From “Mitt Romney struggles to sharpen message,” Alexander Burns, Politico:

“For the third week in a row, Mitt Romney’s campaign vowed Monday to deliver a sharper, bigger message in the closing stretch of the 2012 election.

“The GOP nominee is trying to move beyond an erratic messaging streak, which has seen his campaign chasing one transient news cycle after another. Romney advisers say Romney has been taking advantage of targets of opportunity offered up by Obama. But his message has shifted so frequently, and with so little thematic continuity between attacks, that it smacks more of a scramble to see what sticks than a coherent theory of the case for the general election.

“On a conference call with reporters Monday, senior Romney advisers Kevin Madden and Ed Gillespie promised a turn toward the whole picture for the campaign’s closing weeks.

“The tag-team effort by Madden and Gillespie was the latest in a series of Monday-morning attempts to set the agenda of the 2012 campaign.

“Reviewing the Romney campaign’s message points for the last month, there’s been astonishing variation from day to day and week to week for a campaign that long claimed its principal focus was the economy.   The improvisational quality of Romney’s sales pitch has only intensified since Sept. 17 when the liberal magazine Mother Jones published video of the Republican making critical comments about the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes.

“Romney faces something of a painful paradox in his campaign messaging.  Both Republicans and Democrats have pressured him to address a larger range of issues in his bid for the presidency:  Romney drew flak from may quarters last month after failing to mention the Afghanistan war in his Tampa convention speech.  but Romney has struggled to balance a coherent, overarching argument for his candidacy with the need to address important news of the day.

“All throughout September, Romney’s campaign released a flurry of television commercials focusing on a range of subjects including the coal industry, scheduled defense cuts that would affect swing states, trade with China and more.  Those ads have seldom lined up with Romney’s rapidly shifting message of the day.

“If that messaging confusion has deepened lately, Romney also rotated through ephemeral campaign themes for a good part of the summer.  He spent much of August pummeling Obama for changes to the federal welfare system, only to drop that attack abruptly after the two parties’ conventions.”

I  don’t see them getting their messaging act together.  This campaign is just going to run out the clock and go through the motions.  Mitt isn’t stupid — as a turnaround guy, he knows when something can’t be turned around.