THE BACKLASH ERA ELECTION WATCH: IS MITT ROMNEY PURSING A BLATANT BACKLASH ERA STRATEGY?
This blog has long articulated a basic principle for this first Presidential campaign of the Backlash Era: the candidate we are thinking of the most in November will lose. If one of the two candidates could manage to skip his party’s convention, call in sick to the debates, and hide out on an island until Election Day, without his absence becoming an issue in itself, then he would almost certainly win.
It’s very hard for a Presidential candidate however, to acknowledge that the best thing he could do for his campaign is to try and make it so voters can barely remember his name when they go to pull the lever. Politicians like to think they bring something to the table, after all. It’s hard for them - or for any public figure - to accept that whatever they bring to it will be turned against them in this age.
Mitt Romney certainly did not show the makings of a Backlash Era campaign with his VP pick. However, reader M noticed a graph in this Yahoo News piece, which suggests that a Backlash Era strategy might just be taking form at Romney HQ:
Even when he is in swing states, he sometimes attends only a fundraiser, without mingling with non-donors or appearing before local TV cameras, as he did Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C
It is critical for politicians to recognize that public appearances, interviews touting yourself, rallies stoking your fires and the like will only engender resentments and create rallying points to gather your haters; that whatever enthusiasm your presence can drum up will only provoke the greater Backlash. We’ll see how far Mitt Romney can take this under the light of a Presidential campaign. We highly advise sneaking out at the first opportunity and not coming back until the lawn signs have all been cleared away.