The EFM Feature

Charles, your post hits on a real coverage problem Mitt may face. He’s not a one-note candidate. He never has been. Throughout the 2007-2008 season, he campaigned as the guy who represents the “three legs of the Republican stool” i.e. fiscal conservatism, strong national defense, and family values. Until the banking collapse (which occurred well after the Republican primaries) the debates primarily centered around Iraq and social conservatism.
Well now we’ve got 10% unemployment and exploding deficits. So a well-rounded candidate will focus on, what? High unemployment and exploding deficits. Of course, this also plays to one of Governor Romney’s acknowledged strengths: economic expertise. But does it mean that he’s backing away from social issues? No, it means he’s emphasizing the “leg” of the “stool” most in the news and arguably most in crisis at the moment.
If — God forbid — things get worse in Afghanistan, you’d probably see the Governor talking more about national defense. Does that mean the next article is: “Mitt Romney: Conservative Hawk?” Probably so.
Good leaders respond to objectively existing national conditions. It’s not all positioning and spin and “moves” to this or that part of the political spectrum.


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