Worth reading is this story on Romney's efforts to find a message and the difficulty for a candidate already with a conviction problem lurching form tag line to tag line. It got me thinking about why (aside from the lurching around part) Romney may be having difficulties seizing the "change" mantle. Part of the problem may lie in the fact that he seems to be the most conventional politician of the bunch. He is the most coiffed and on message, his word parsing is expertly Washingtonian, his views have lined up with party orthodoxy and his high octane fundraising and email bombardment machine all make him seem much more conventional a figure than Rudy or McCain or certainly Huckabee. If you knew none of the cast of characters and were shown all their pictures, read their stump speech and watched a few days of their coverage and communications output you'd identify Romney as the life long politician. So if part of the "change" that voters are looking for is a more spontaneous, less scripted, less manicured and less conventional figure it may be Huckabee or McCain or even Rudy who represents the biggest departure from the status quo. And if you think "change" is a bunch of hooey made up by consultants trying to figure out what real people would like, you'll be grateful for another Thompson debate performance tonight.
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