We've gotten some recent headlines that things aren't going so well in RomneyLand. The early scapegoat has been Stuart Stevens. Ryan reportedly wants to get out and talk details.
Mitt Romney, sensing an opening in the Middle East mess and catching flak from conservatives for giving too little detail about his policy plans, is rolling out a new and broader strategy to make the election a referendum on “status quo versus change,” chief strategist Stuart Stevens told POLITICO.
"The shift, which is to include much more emphasis on Romney’s policy prescriptions, means he is scrapping the most basic precept of his campaign. From the time he began contemplating running again after his loss in the 2008 primaries, Romney’s theory of the case has been a relentless and nearly exclusive focus on the listless economy."
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81283.html#ixzz26jdJLxUQ
The laserlike focus hasn't gotten much traction. However, what might have been the real wakeup call for the Romney team was the bad jobs report the day after the DNC in Charlotte. Romney had planned to attack on that to weaken any convention bounce. It didn't work out like he had planned.
"Romney and — particularly — his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, have spent a week road-testing alternatives, going positive and going negative, swinging at the president on everything from faith to foreign policy. The new efforts mark a shift from a summer of fruitless discipline and a convention in which attempts to present a friendly, moderate tone trumped any policy substance. And campaign planners said their moves mark a new campaign consensus."
“No one in Boston thinks this can only be about the economy anymore,” one top aide said last week. “The economy narrows the gap and puts us in contention, but we have to bring more to the table.”
"The core factor in the search for a new message, aides say privately, was the August jobs report. The anemic job growth was widely viewed as bad news for Obama even as the unemployment rate dropped due to people leaving the workforce. But the national shrug confirmed Romney campaign concerns that the most visible economic indicator would remain muddled through Election Day."
"We have specific ideas and specific bold solutions because we feel we have an obligation to give you the choice of what kind of country you want to have, what kind of economy you want to have,” Ryan added.”
And in a phone call with conservative media on Thursday, Ryan outlined his thinking that the election will be about ideas, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote.
The call revealed some of the Romney-Ryan ticket’s thinking. First, it plainly understands the need to go around and over the heads of the mainstream media and to buck up the base. Second, it doesn't buy the liberal spin that it’s running a referendum election; Ryan has always argued for and talked about two visions and giving the voters a clear choice.
That the idea of a referendum election is a liberal spin is itself some impressive spin by Ryan. That's what the Romney team itself had assumed would be the ticket to victory.. Indeed, just a a week and a half ago Rush Limbaugh had said that Romney is just the means to defeat Obama-he doesn't matter himself, he could be Elmer Fudd for all they care.
And what are these "specifics" actually going to be? In fact, I think that the punch line was Ryan's claim that they already have given plenty of specifics and that their campaign has given them and that it is a campaign committed to specifics.
In other words, their idea of getting more specific will simply be using the word "specifics" a lot.
It is not at all likely that they will actually offer anything specific about say what loopholes Romney plans to close to make his across the board 20% tax cuts revenue neutral.
Indeed, Ryan again over the weekend says that they'll get specific in next year's Congress-you know, after the election.
In theory, the move to specifics would seem to obviously be a good idea. However, this is not going to be more specifics but simply a remodeling his campaign to talk a lot more about words like "policy" and "specifics."
There's been a reason that Romney hasn't wanted to talk specifics-most of his ideas Americans actually hate.
"We’re now getting a lot of “Romney in disarray” stories; we’re also hearing that the solution is for Romney to go out there and sell his five-point plan for the economy."
"You’ve got to be kidding. Has anyone actually looked at that “plan”? Not only is it pathetic; its patheticity (pathos? That doesn’t sound right) is no accident. On the contrary, it reflects the same forces that have made the Romney campaign in general such a dud."
"It’s not just that the plan’s rhetoric is the same as every other GOP plan since 2004. Nor is it just the complete absence of specifics. It’s the fact that the plan is written in code; Romney doesn’t dare say explicitly what he’s talking about, because his actual agenda is so unpopular."