It might sound counter-intuitive but National Review editor Rich Lowry offers some solid advice to Romney should he win the nomination: Don't worry about trying to connect with voters.
He says that "voters will first decide if they are inclined to retire President Obama. Then, they will ask whether Romney is acceptable." And he's perfectly acceptable as a politician, even if many people are having to work there way into grudging acceptance.
Lowry says that it's just as well that the Romney campaign doesn't rely on the messianic model of the 2008 Obama campaign. His promises are more realistic. Here's more:
If Romney is the Republican nominee, he would be wise to resist all the advice he’ll get on how to forge the kind of connection with voters that has heretofore escaped him. He should play by different rules: Don’t go out of your way to empathize. Don’t tell anyone about your passions. Don’t share endearing personal stories.
Romney needn’t dazzle with his personality or move people with his struggles. The standard he has to meet is the one Barack Obama famously established for Hillary Clinton back in their 2008 campaign — “likable enough.” People have to like Romney the way they like their accountant. They have to consider him trustworthy and capable, full stop.
Romney is a fundamentally decent man who has been true to his family and his faith. He’s even-tempered to a fault and personally polite (if politically ruthless). But he won’t win the “Would you want to have a beer with him?” contest with Obama, and not even the “Would you want to have a chocolate milk with him?” contest. Kids will never faint at his rallies, and journalists will never fall over themselves praising his eloquence. The country will always be blissfully free of “Mitt-mania.”
Romney is a workmanlike politician. His pitch for himself should be that he’ll be an equally workmanlike president. Although it hasn’t set the GOP on fire, his truest, most natural message is that he’s a turnaround artist — the guy who can rationally evaluate a situation, come up with a plan and execute it. Romney can’t fall back simply on the dreaded Michael Dukakis buzzword of “competence.” His case has to include a vision of a better America. But his implicit slogan should be “No one ever regretted hiring Mitt Romney to do a job.”
That sounds about right to me. But what do you all think?