Is Mitt Romney channeling Meg Whitman?

Is Mitt Romney channeling Meg Whitman?

Sept. 25, 2012

By John Seiler

Maybe Mitt Romney will put in a boffo appearance at the three debates in October and go on to win. But for now, his campaign clearly is floundering.

Remember Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor in 2010? You probably want to forget it. She certainly does. Its campaign theme was similar to Romney’s: “I’m rich. I’ll create jobs. Vote for me.”

So far, it seems like Romney in 2012 is channeling Whitman in 2010. Play the following two YouTubes, one from each campaign:


Part of the problem is that Republican campaign consultants nowadays are an inbred lot. It used to be that, say, the 1980 Reagan campaign was a lot different from that of Gerald Ford in 1976, or Nixon in 1972.

For Romney, campaign aides who worked for Whitman include: Finance Chair  Spencer Zwick, Deputy Political Director Tod Cranney, Western Political Director Sarah Nelson, Deputy Coalitions-Women Adviser Courtney Johnson, Deputy Communications Director for Regional Press  Sarah Pompei, Deputy Director of Candidate Operations Matt Hall and Meg herself as national finance co-chair. Pompei was with Romney in 2008 and is back, after helping Meg lose.

And my colleague Steven Greenhut in 2010 pointed out that Meg’s campaign echoed John McCain’s losing 2008 bid.

For some perspective from 2010, on I criticized Pompei for insulting Rep. Tom McClintock, the great California conservative. The Romney campaign has done something similar, dissing Ron Paul and his followers so badly they bolted from the convention.

I’ve watched both the Whitman and Romney campaigns closely, and they really do have a diffuse message. Romney has a six-point plan that he’s touting. (Although sometimes I’ve seen it as a five-point plan.) Meg had something similar.

Reagan’s example

On cutting taxes,  on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Romney was evasive on the loopholes he would close to restore revenues. He doesn’t get it — even though Reagan showed him how.

In 1980, the Gipper campaigned on a platform of a 33 percent tax cut, keeping the deductions for charity, homes, etc. It was simple. Voters easily understood it — and they believed him.

Once elected, he kept his pledge by cutting taxes 25 percent — close enough for government work. (Yes, I know that later he increased taxes in some areas; but overall he cut taxes during his eight years in office.)

Reagan’s tax cuts formed the basis of the prosperity we enjoyed until the mid-2000s collapse.

What about the deficits that so concern Romney? It’s true that’s a bigger concern now because of the $16 trillion debt. But Romney should simply say, over and over: “First, I’m going to cut your taxes 33 percent.”

The second debate is a Town Hall format with questions from the audience. It could go like this:

Citizen: “You’re rich and will pay less taxes under your program.”

Romney: “Sir, please think in your mind how much you now pay in federal income tax. After I’m elected, you’ll have a third of that returned to you for your family. What would you spend that on?”

Citizen: “Ah, my son needs a new uniform for Pop Warner. My daughter needs braces.”

Obama: “Well, my tax increase will fund a new program for sports uniforms and Obamadentistry.”

This stuff isn’t hard, folks.

Here’s the Great Communicator showing how to defeat a sitting president, from a Reagan-Carter debate in 1980:

Related Articles

Scramble for congressional seats could prevent Calif. tax increases

June 18, 2012 By John Hrabe Anti-tax groups face a tall order this November. There’s priority one: defeating the competing multi-billion-dollar

Big blow to bullet train: Fresno County supes now oppose project

Fresno has long been a hotbed of bipartisan support for the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s plans to build a bullet-train

New ‘Green’ Law Is Union Giveaway

OCT. 4, 2010 By WAYNE LUSVARDI Will a new law mandating green power storage facilities along green pathway electric transmission