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Morning Feature – Romney Concedes on “Likability,” Will Run on His “Credentials”

May 1, 2012

Morning Feature

Morning Feature – Romney Concedes on “Likability,” Will Run on His “Credentials”

At least Romney is smart enough to know he can’t challenge President Obama on likability. So what are his options? (More)

From the Wall Street Journal:

Mitt Romney may be conceding – the likability battle, that is.

Eric Fehrnstrom and Peter Flaherty, senior advisers to the Romney campaign, acknowledged in the starkest terms yet that instead of trying to win the likability race against President Barack Obama, they’ll focus on their candidate’s credentials.

So lets take a look at what the Romney campaign will have to work with when it comes to credentials.

In the arena of public service, Steve Benen demonstrates that Romney has the least experience of any presidential candidate since the 1940’s.

(click here for a larger view.)

And using this metric, Romney has only four years under his belt. He served one term as the governor of Massachusetts – and that’s it. This makes Romney the least experienced major-party presidential nominee since Republican Wendell Wilkie lost to FDR in 1940. If Romney wins, he’ll be the least experienced president since Woodrow Wilson, who won exactly 100 years ago, despite only having been governor of New Jersey for two years before his national campaign.

Its clear that “credentials” don’t include public service. Perhaps they’re talking about Romney’s years as a vulture capitalist where he is the personification of the character Gordon Gekko. Its true that Romney’s rhetoric, stripped of all its spin, mirrors the famous line from Gekko.

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A.

So I say “go for it” Romney campaign. Run on your guy’s credentials. Its just as much of a strategy for failure as trying to make him appear likable.

Cross-posted from Smartypants


  • NCrissieB

    To judge by his campaign’s latest statements, Romney’s credentials consist primarily of taking credit for others’ accomplishments. From rescuing the auto industry to the Bin Laden raid, anything that worked was Romney’s idea or what he would have done had he been in the Oval Office. Anything that hasn’t worked – including policies he supported in the primaries – has been misunderstood or … well … just accept that he’s perfect because he’s already said he will never apologize for anything….

    Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  • addisnana

    I am glad not to be tasked with finding a winning strategy to sell Romney to the American people. I sincerely hope there isn’t one.

    Thanks for the history lessons. Wendell Wilkie? Wow.

  • Boy, you guys are early birds 💡

    Good morning!

    I’m still trying to figure out what this guys got…other than $.

    • It’s late, at least according to Squirrel Standard Time. As Ben Franktail wrote: “The early squirrel gets the macadamia!”

      I saved some for you, though. ::nudges the bowl nearer you::

      Good day and good nuts.

    • NCrissieB

      Thank you for doing the midweek Morning Features this week and next, Smartypants. I really enjoy your writing, and this chart was very revealing. I guess I’d always imagined candidates having been in public service for decades before they ran for the presidency, but since 1960 the median public service experience looks to be about 18 years. Kinda surprising, really.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • addisnana

      Good hair! 🙂

  • winterbanyan

    That was a fascinating chart, Smartypants. Thank you for joining us and sharing this with us.

    I was looking at those stats and wondering: are we looking for people who lack experience because of the growing distrust for pols and Washington? A distrust which is being fed quite deliberately now. I know one of the things that appealed to people about Carter was that he was an outsider, not from the DC sphere. After Nixon, that looked like a good thing.

    But the trend is both interesting and a little disturbing.

    My thanks again!

    • Morning winterbanyan!

      Steve Benen talks about your point in the article I linked to:

      That, however, raises the question of why politics is the only profession in which inexperience is something to brag about. When passengers get on airplane, do they think, “I really hope this pilot is a rookie”? When patients go the hospital, do they say to themselves, “I prefer to see physician who hasn’t practiced medicine for very long”?

      When we talk about “outsider,” we’re really talking about inexperience…something to be considered.

  • Gardener

    Thank you Smartypants!

    I think what Willard has is: it’s his turn….. The R’s are very big on waiting for their turn, and now it’s his turn…. 😉