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There's been a lot of analysis and discussion of Willard's total loser of a campaign. But columnist Mark Shields nails Romney's problem in a nutshell.

I have a different theory.

And the theory is that Mitt Romney is the first presidential candidate in -- certainly in the last 35 years who wherever he campaigns does worse. And I think that's his real problem.

The only thing Romney seems to excel at, is driving up his unfavorables with personal appearances.

Fast forward past the David Brooks inanities to the 1:07 mark where Mark Shields says it:

Watch Shields and Brooks on Early Voting, Preparing for the Debate on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

MARK SHIELDS: I have a different theory.

And the theory is that Mitt Romney is the first presidential candidate in -- certainly in the last 35 years who wherever he campaigns does worse. And I think that's his real problem.

I mean, for example, in Florida, his personal unfavorable rating in January was 29 percent. It went up to 35 percent in May. It's now at 48 percent.

In Ohio, the same thing. It went from 34 percent unfavorable in January, to 37 percent in May, to 49 percent in September.

The more they see him, the less they like him. And this is a real problem. It happened to Gerald Ford, the president of the United States, in 1976 in a marvelous campaign, a great campaign.

Stu Spencer, who was a strategist, met with the president in the White House with Bob Teeter and Dick Cheney, who was chief of the staff, said, Mr. President, you are a great president, but you are a terrible campaigner. Everywhere you go, your numbers go down. So that's -- they had a Rose Garden strategy.

I called Stu Spencer this week to talk about this. And he said, the problem that Mitt Romney has, he doesn't have a Rose Garden. I mean, he can't go back and be sort of in charge of the government. And I just think it's a real problem.

I agree with David on what he said about the 47 percent, because it played into a stereotype that already existed, a negative narrative about Romney, that he was out of touch. My wife, Ann, drives two Cadillacs. You want to bet $10,000, he said to Rick Perry, I mean, all of that. That tied in.

And the 47 percent speech that he gave on tape just reinforced that about what people already thought.

DAVID BROOKS: Yes.

Obviously his campaign knows it since Mitt continues to do more fundraisers than campaign appearances. Best to stick with the fundraisers Mitt, the milieu where you manage to speak comfortably, amongst your own kind. Campaign appearances don't work, ads don't work. Fortunately there are the debates to look forward to. After months and months of primaries and the general campaign, Romney can begin introducing himself to American voters.
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