I have been saying on these pages for three years now that Mitt Romney would be one of the last candidates standing. Why? Primarily because of two things: Hard work and discipline. He has them in spades. It isn’t wealth. Steve Forbes had wealth. It isn’t connections. George H. W. Bush had connections in 1980. It is hard work and discipline that wins presidential races.
Nobody this cycle with the possible exception of Tim Pawlenty came close to Romney in discipline and hard work. He ran a very tight ship. Sure there were the occasional gaffes (“etch-a-sketch” comes to mind), but they were the exception rather than the rule. The other candidates were a gaffe-a-minute compared to Romney. They couldn’t stay on message if their lives depended upon it. They all seemed enamored with seat-of-the-pants campaigns. Some, like Gingrich and Santorum, seemed proud of their lack of organization and discipline.
In the end, the results were entirely too predictable. Mitt Romney won the nomination.
Now it’s time to look forward to the General. And what do we see?
We see a president who doesn’t seem to like his job. He spends hours on the golf course away from the office. We see a president whose foreign policy can be charitably described as “ad hoc”. And as for his domestic policy, his two signature accomplishments — the Stimulus and ObamaCare — he did very little work on. He merely told Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid he wanted them and let them do all the work.
This is hard work? This is discipline?
Oh, but he is a great speaker, right? Yes, when he is reading off the teleprompter. Once he goes off it, he has a tendency end up in the rhetorical weeds. And when he is seriously challenged by an interviewer, he has a habit of losing his composure.
Yes, but what about his vaunted campaign skills? True, he is a skillful campaigner, but there is an old axiom that is nearly always true. Any organization will take on the chief characteristics of its leader. And if the leader isn’t disciplined, neither will be the organization.
And how disciplined is his campaign? Take a look at the recent evidence of “RosenGate” for clues. Look past what was said, and instead look at what was happening, and what happened afterwards. Hillary Rosen is a top DNC and Obama strategist. Her specialty is Public Relations. In the interview where she attacked Ann Romney, she also attacked the Republicans by claiming that no Democrat had used the term “War on Women”. It was all the Republicans according to her.
A simple fact check quickly reveals numerous Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi using the term. Then the Obama Administration claimed that nobody in the Administration used the term. Well, just last night, Joe Biden used the term. The last time I checked the Vice President is considered part of the Administration.
And when Rosen’s comments set off a firestorm of controversy, how did the campaign react? They wasted no time distancing themselves from her. They are now claiming that she has little to no influence on the President yet White House logs show she was been there over 30 times.
Her reaction is telling, as well. She is reportedly furious at being thrown under the bus like that.
Contrast that with the Romney’s campaign reaction to “Etch-a-sketch”. Here again a staffer made an embarrassing remark. Did they panic? No. Did they distance themselves? No. Did they throw him under the bus? No. They reacted calmly and with discipline.
There are other things that suggest a lack of discipline in the Obama camp. I read recently an article that pointed out that in spite of the tens of Millions of dollars spent on the campaign so far, the Obama Campaign still does not of a slogan. They’ve tried first one, then another. None have stuck.
It’s the little things like that that reveal the state of the campaign, and things don’t look good for Obama.
So I am predicting here and now that unless the Obama Campaign gets their act together, sharpens their discipline, and tightens their ship, we will be electing a new president next fall, and it is going to be Willard Mitt Romney.
Will it be easy? No. Was the nomination fight easy? No. It is going to be brutal. It is going to be mean and nasty. There will be ups and downs. But in the end, the campaign with the most discipline will win, and at this moment in time that is Mitt Romney’s.