September 26, 2012 by David K. Sutton
Romney’s Biggest Problem Is Romney, He Is Unable To Evoke Emotion
Mitt Romney’s biggest problem is that he has not demonstrated genuine empathy with the electorate. He is either unwilling or unable to effectively use real-life examples of people struggling to get by while providing examples of how he will help. Mitt Romney may simply be incapable of making this emotional connection, and that could be the missing element that sinks his candidacy. Robert Lehrman writes in his book, (“The Political Speechwriter’s Companion”):
Some researchers think the emotional appeal is more important in politics than ever. During the 2008 campaign, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio pointed out that in earlier times, voters could reflect on issues. “But now, with 24-hour cable news and the Web, you have a climate in which you don’t have time to reflect,” he said. “The amount and speed of information, combined with less time to analyze every new development, pushes us toward the emotion-based decision pathway.”
Whether or not he’s right about the trend, evoking emotion is enormously important in politics. – The Political Speechwriter’s Companion, Robert Lehrman
So it might be said that Mitt Romney is committing political campaign malpractice with no means to correct it.
Mitt Romney’s stump speeches are filled with critiques of Obama’s presidency and his [Romney’s] claims of business experience that qualifies him for the job in this economy. I don’t believe this for one second of course, but that’s not the point. There are plenty of people who do believe Romney would be better for the economy, but they still have a problem supporting him because they cannot relate to his life. Bluntly stated, Barack Obama has a lot more in common with the “American Dream” than does Mitt Romney. Whether people think they are actively living the American Dream or still trying to attain it, I think all but hardened right-wing conservatives recognize that President Obama personifies it.
Now Romney is attempting to make a more personal connection with Americans. In the aftermath of the devastating “47% video,” Romney is, according to Robert Reich, trying to re-brand his image as a compassionate conservative.
“My heart aches for the people I’ve seen,” Mitt Romney said, on the second day of his Ohio bus tour. He’s now telling stories of economic hardship among the people he’s met.
Up until now, Romney’s stories on the campaign trail have been about business successes – people who started businesses in garages and grew their companies into global giants, entrepreneurs who succeeded because of grit and determination, millionaires who began poor. Horatio Alger updated.
Curiously absent from these narratives have been the stories of ordinary Americans caught in an economy over which they have no control. That is, most of us.
At least until now.
“I was yesterday with a woman who was emotional,” Romney recounts, “and she said, ‘Look, I’ve been out of work since May.’ She was in her 50s. She said, ‘I don’t see any prospects. Can you help me?’”
[T]he repackaging of Mitt as a compassionate conservative won’t work. The good citizens of Ohio — as elsewhere — have reason to be skeptical.
This is, after all, the same Mitt Romney who told his backers in Boca Raton that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government and unwilling to take care of themselves.
It’s the same Romney who was against bailing out GM and Chrysler.
This is the same Romney who has been against extending unemployment benefits. – Repackaging Mitt as a Compassionate Conservative? It’s Too Late, Robert Reich
I agree with Reich. It will not work and it can not work because Mitt Romney is incapable of making an authentic appeal to people’s emotions. / image by Mario Piperni