Romney’s overall favorable/unfavorable score remains a net negative – a trait no other modern presumptive GOP presidential nominee (whether Bob Dole, George W. Bush or John McCain) has shared.As we find all sorts of parallels to the 2004 elections, this one bucks the trend—John Kerry always had higher positives than negatives (which is why voters flirted with him for a while). Mitt Romney has never been liked.
Absent a catastrophic collapse in the economy in the next several months or some other unexpected disaster, it's hard to see Romney gaining much more traction against a president who remains generally well liked. What this means is that Romney has to raise his positives. But how can he raise his positives when he refuses to discuss his entire background?
He won't talk about his tenure as Massachusetts governor because, frankly, he sucked at being governor. Oh, and then there was that Romneycare thing. Can't talk about that!
He won't talk about his business tenure at Bain, because, you know, vulture capitalism doesn't sell with working class voters. Heck, half his campaign's efforts this past month have been spent trying to convince people he left Bain sooner than he actually did!
He won't talk about his religion and morality, because he's afraid he'll get penalized for being Mormon.
He certainly has no uplifting and inspiring story of overcoming obstacles as a youth to become who he is today. There's nothing self-made about him. He's been a rich, self-entitled dick his whole life. So much so, in fact, that his own friends sold him out to the press.
You can't have a beer with the guy, and even if you could, you wouldn't want to. He'd cruelly make fun of your car and point out that none of your friends own sporting teams. And if you happened to be the prime minister of a nation with a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, he'd say your country was second rate and wonder out loud why your citizens hadn't bothered killing themselves for lack of being American.
Pretty soon, he won't be able to talk about his tenure running the Salt Lake City Olympics, because it steps on his new message of "government ain't done shit for you."
And if he ever thought he could project a presidential aura of competence on foreign affairs, well, that ain't gonna happen post-London.
Heck, even his base doesn't like him, and they're not even bothering to hide their distaste.
So instead of trying to build Romney up, we're going to see several more months of claims that Pres. Barack Obama isn't American and that he hates people who have started small businesses. Romney's hope is that people end up hating Obama so much, that it will override their dislike for Romney.
Still, it's hard to see how it can work. Given the choice between two people they don't feel crazy about, voters will pick the devil they know over the devil they don't know. Just ask George W. Bush if you have any doubts about that.