Obamacare tax confusion a warning sign: the peril of playing it safe.
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He would — and did — play it safe. And lost the White House in a spectacular upset.
And what unsettling similarity in the thus far unfolding 2012 campaign reminds of Dewey?
In biographer Smith’s words of the Dewey play it safe strategy:
So there it was: a neat combination of personal preference, bad memories, political necessity, and genuine statesmanship, wrapped up in the unanimous support of trusted advisers and state party leaders.”
The “bad memories” of course, revolved around the Oklahoma City speech.
What constitutes “bad memories” for the Romney campaign?
Exactly. Two things quite specifically: Romneycare and the “flip-flopper” business.
The Governor was hammered again and again and again on these two issues during the primaries, doubtless producing a reflexive, Dewey-like sensitivity on both. As the WSJ noted in its July 5th editorial on Romney’s tax screw-up response to the Court, cited above:
Why make such an unforced error? Because it fits with Mr. Romney’s fear of being labeled a flip-flopper, as if that is worse than confusing voters about the tax and health-care issues. Mr. Romney favored the individual mandate as part of his reform in Massachusetts, and as we’ve said from the beginning of his candidacy his failure to admit that mistake makes him less able to carry the anti-Obamacare case to voters.
But the game has changed — changed Big Time — because of the Supreme Court decision. The failure of the Romney campaign not to understand that it has changed to their advantage could be, if not corrected, a considerable Dewey-style mistake.
What Chief Justice Roberts did — and we’re speaking here not in a constitutional sense but a political sense — is infuriate the conservative base of the GOP. All those people who were just Mild About Mitt.
Now they are flocking — unasked — to the Governor’s side. As was well reported, the Romney campaign was abruptly flooded with some $4.6 million in campaign contributions from voters apoplectic over the Supreme Court’s decision.
All of which is to say — Romney sensitivities notwithstanding — the story is no longer that Mitt Romney can’t carry the health care message. The political landscape has changed dramatically. Now?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?