The Spectacle Blog

Re: How to Flip-Flop

By on 4.21.07 | 11:44AM

Phil, points well taken about Romney's views. That said, each candidate has a simple task: To be seen and heard widely and identifiably in a unified way in the way that he desires to be seen. The Weekly Standard's long, excellent take on Fred Thompson, for example, makes the point that Thompson needs to bring the two parts of his public persona together -- the TV image with the name and the man. He had to do that in Tennessee in his first Senate run, and overcame a huge gap in the polls when he first announced.

Giuliani had the whole recognition picture together because of 9/11, but, as he has been questioned more closely, that recognition has begun, ever so slightly, to fray. People who thought they knew who he was have begun very slightly to doubt their perceptions.

For Romney, the task is simpler, like Thompson's. If you see Romney in person, or in an extended take on television, he is unbelievably impressive, particularly (sigh) taken in comparison to our current president -- or indeed to any other candidate. He talks better than anybody, off the cuff or in prepared speeches. He comes across as demonstrably more intelligent and more in command of his subject than anybody. He is immensely likeable. The more he gets seen and heard, the better he'll do.

His evolved positions on abortion and guns may be nuanced, but, where many another candidate would have a hard time explaining them, Romney won't.

See excerpts from his recent speech at the George Bush Library here .
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