Politico has published a devastating perspective on a presidential campaign in total disarray. Care to guess whose? The article raises as many questions about Team Romney (pictured at top) than it answers, but the piece does explain -- although it doesn't excuse -- why Afghanistan and the troops weren't mentioned in Romney's Tampa speech, and why it was so light on policy.
Nevertheless, Wehner came up with a draft he found pleasing, including the memorable line: “The incumbent president is trying to lower the expectations of our nation to the sorry level of his own achievement. He only wins if you settle.” It also included a reference to Afghanistan, which was jettisoned with the rest of his work.
That weekend, Stevens accompanied Romney as he went to a school auditorium in New Hampshire with his wife, Ann, to practice yet another version of the speech. Only one paragraph from the McConnell-Scully draft wound up being used, about a rose that Romney’s father had put on his mother’s bedside table each day. The speech that was actually delivered, it turned out, had been cobbled together by Stevens and Romney himself.
When asked about the various versions of the convention speech, Stevens said: “The governor writes his speeches.”
A couple of thoughts:
1) Only a fool would declare the race over at this point (which means disregard the headline at top :-) ) because many things could happen between now and November (like, Israel could attack Iran...just a crazy thought that popped into my head). Still, it;s hard to imagine what becomes a game changer now, with Obama taking the first clearcut lead that either candidate has had for months. It looks like Romney and Ryan are floundering about for a new direction, any direction -- and that's a shame. I'm serious. America deserves a more robust debate about economic policy and the war (we still have one of these) that we're not getting. Some of that is Obama's fault but it's incumbent on the challenger (see what I did there?) to get the party started.
2) That said, I think what this story does reveal about Mitt Romney is fairly appalling. The reason the speech didn't mention the troop is, utltimately, because Romney wrote it himself. Which suggests that he doesn't really think about the troops all that much. That speaks horribly of a man so focused on becoming "America's CEO" that the very concept of a commander-in-chief is a distant afterthought.