So, if persona now decides all, is not Rove's weird message that Romney's "impossible-to-read, whiter and weirder-than-thou" personality can outshine Obama's popularity? Even Republicans don't buy that this Robot's ever-complaint, poll-driven mask shows leadership or character, only that he could defeat the WH devil. Further, aside from losing to both Ted Kennedy and that fraudulent maverick John McCain, what makes this thinly-resumed, one-term governor anything more than a "celebrity Republican" cartoon? Unemployed since 2007, except for failed presidential runs, Romney boasts no federal or Washington experience, actually less qualified than Obama at inauguration. Obama's resume, after all, boasted years as a political mediocrity.
What further strikes me is how Rove makes Obama hipper than in real life, when he stumbles over words or dumps more fudged reversals. Hardly "cool" to the left, yet Rove magically portrays this evasive compromiser as stylish man about town worth having a beer with (as pictured). If "mere politician" is the crowning career put-down, then elevation to the world's greatest celebrity is a stirring endorsement. Maybe secretly Rove wants Romney blasted, prepping 2016 for the next Bush. Okay, he's not dumb.
Romney's V.P. Puzzle
Because Romney the 90 lb. weakling lacks charisma, experience, and ideas, his V.P. pick is especially daunting: finding someone respectable who's strong enough to help yet won't make Mitt look even duller, richer, more out of touch, or less savvy. What decent V.P.'s resume wouldn't shrink Mitt's veneer? We're talking Herman Cain, though with less personality as circus hawker. Forget GOP primary numbskulls: all are more experienced and/or far more ideologically consistent. That leaves guys with no more magnetism than Mitch Daniels, Rob Portman, or Paul Ryan. Scratch vile Joe the Plummer or any top female -- too lively.
So I don't get it, setting Mr. Presidential Personality against Mr. Rich-Remote Capitalist whose scary emptiness would double down W.'s reign, a hollowed-out hustler up against the world's most famous, celebrated hustler (pace Bill Clinton, now BO ally). Clearly, Romney's forte is unscrupulous business know-how, whose greater flip-floppery could well surpass Obama's devious "pragmatism." I begin to see Rove's quandary.
All in all, Romney works as political vampire, the bloodless fiend who gets vitality by predating the life force from less affluent victims. List one identifiable idea he didn't steal, or posit a core that sustains a big idea? Right, his own embarrassing state health reform? Just as vulture capitalism feeds off hemorrhaging companies, Romney campaigns like a spider, ready to pounce, anesthetize, then suck the life out of foes. So Rove is deluded in promoting this sound-bite bloodsucker against a youthful and energetic street fighter with decent footwork for his effective rope-a-dope, so far.
Is Romney Any Body?
The "anybody but Romney" zinger now expands to a more damaging puzzle, "is Romney any body"? Is anyone truly at home, zipped or not? A personality void only magnifies his other flaws:narrow experience, none in Washington, and now cynical alignment with the reactionary New Rethugs. But Romney faces a campaigner expert at knocking off (once, more) famous, well-funded rivals. Yes, the country wouldn't mind changing horses, but not from a popular high-stepper to a mulish, out of touch tycoon with both a dog and an anger problem. Really, elect a guy whose smug advice to impoverished college students is "borrow money from your parents"? That wins over the youth and parent vote, for sure.