He actually makes a very interesting point that I've often made myself:
"My simple — and admittedly simplistic — theory of who wins the presidency is that most voters almost always vote for the more likable presidential candidate."
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78310_Page2.html#ixzz20GKqeORe
I agree with this. I've argued with firebaggers on the Left who hate Obama and when I point out that people really like the guy they scoff. People don't vote on who they like! They vote the economy!
I'm not convinced. First of all people don't always vote the economy. In the 60s the economy was great. Yet LBJ had to step down for reasons that had nothing to do with the economy. Right now the economy is a real worry. But people don't blame the President. They believe he's a good man and that he's trying. They also remember that Obama came into a tougher economic situation than any President since FDR. Since November of 2009 the economy has picked up 3.6 million jobs. That's better than the W. Bush record.
Sure, firebaggers and teabaggers may scoff-notice how the Leftists that hate Obama use the same exact arguments that the Right does?-but that's worth a lot. The thing is that there is no presumption that men in power are good mean that really are trying to help the public.
Americans don't feel that they know this about Mitt Romney. They like the President, they really don't like Mitt Romney. Even worse look at the people who do like Romney. Yes, he beat the President at the money game in June-$115 million to $71 million but this underscores that's only self pitying billionaires who need assurances that they are the "job creators" not social leeches who cling to Romney.
In reality, though even Romney's supporters like him less than they hate Obama. There's a big difference. People genuinely like the President. Few genuinely like Romney. He wasn't really the choice in the primary but was more or less foisted on to the GOP thanks to Citizens United.
Romney also has to be the biggest phony we've ever seen which is saying a lot. I mean if the phrase "I was for it before I was against it" ever applied to anyone it's Mitt Willard Romney. He's running against Romneycare for God's sake.
There's a sense that nothing is authentic about him. Even when he was in his supposed home state of Michigan his "bonding" with fellow natives was so stiff and generic. "I like cars" and "What's great about this place is that the trees are all the same height."
Recently he tried to bond with regular guys again by declaring "I like sport." Ironic after all these years of the GOP campaigning on the idea that you should vote for the guy you'd rather have a beer with, Romney is about as irregular guy-pun intended-as you can find.
The whining of his wife-'why is that bad Obama picking on my husband" just underscores the sense of entitlement, of people who don't even know what real life and real problems are about.
Simon is right. It seems overly simplistic. I already mentioned a President who was not re-elected despite a great economy-LBJ. I can't think of the example of an unlikable President winning. Not in my life time. If you check the more likable guy always wins. Bush the First was not that likable but he was better than Dukakis but not close to Clinton.
Dole was not at all likable, then W won largely on being a regular guy. Kerry as the Wall Street Journal pointed out last week was sort of like Romney. Both had a biography they were pushing.
Don't feel too bad for Romney. After all he may lose an election but how many of us can say we have money in the Cayman Islands, indeed big money stashed away in 6 out of 7 continents?