February 27, 2007

"Primal Code for Brand Romney."

The Boston Globe snags 77 PowerPoint slides of inside analysis of Mitt Romney's strategy:
Dated Dec. 11, the blueprint is wide-ranging and analyzes in detail the strengths and weaknesses of Romney and his two main Republican rivals, Senator John McCain of Arizona and Rudolph W. Giuliani, former mayor of New York. The plan, which top Romney strategist Alex Castellanos helped to draft, charts a course for Romney to emerge as the nominee, but acknowledges that the "electorate is not where it needs to be for us to succeed."

[A] page titled "Primal Code for Brand Romney" said that Romney should define himself as a foil to Bay State Democrats such as Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry and former governor Michael Dukakis. Romney should position himself as "the anti-Kerry," the presentation says....

McCain is described as a war hero and maverick with a compelling narrative and a reputation for wit, authenticity, and straight talk. But he's also seen as "too Washington," "too close to [Democratic] Left," an "uncertain, erratic, unreliable leader in uncertain times." "Does he fit The Big Chair?" the document asks. The plan calls McCain, 70, a "mature brand" and raises questions about whether he could handle the rigors of leading the free world.

Giuliani is called an outside-the-Beltway rock star and truth teller who earned the nation's trust for his leadership of New York City's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But he is described as a one-dimensional Lone Ranger whose social views -- he supports abortion rights and civil unions for gay couples -- could destroy the "GOP brand." "We can't disqualify Dems like Hillary on social issues ever again" if Giuliani is the nominee, the document states.

The plan also touches on what it calls Giuliani's ethical issues, including his relationship with Bernard Kerik , former New York police commissioner who withdrew from consideration to become US homeland security secretary amid allegations of improprieties. It raises Giuliani's "personal political liabilities," an apparent reference to his three marriages and bitter public divorce from his second wife, Donna Hanover....

The case for Romney, according to the plan, is this: "Mitt Romney, tested, intelligent, get-it-done, turnaround CEO Governor and strong leader from outside Washington, is a better candidate than McCain & Giuliani to ensure that America's strength is maintained so we can meet a new generation of global challenges."

22 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

The paper doesn't seem to be rooting for the favorite son.

Cedarford said...

I think Romney's most potent appeal is that after 10 years of do-nothing drift, and America beset with problems that no one is committed to fixing - Mitt Romney has a track record of problem-solving and cleaning up messes.

It is a positive he shares with Giuliani for his turnaround of NYC. Without the skeletons in his closet Rudy has that may trouble him in the Primaries.

The others - Hillary, McCain, Richardson, Breck Boy, Obama, Dodd - have not shown the "Fixer" capability.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Given their tender regard for the GOP® Brand, Romney's people might want to avoid applying the phrase "turnaround CEO governor" to the fourth consecutive Republican to hold that office.

dick said...

Wonder what the Globe did to get those Power Point slides and what the person they got them from did to get them. If the slides were stolen or were poached at the behest of the Globe then they are guilty of about the same things that Nixon was at Watergate and we all know what happened to him - of course he also was a republican so in Mass that might make a difference.

What would be a surprise would be for the Globe to say anything good about Romney.

Richard Fagin said...

The Boston Globe has done quite a job making a monster out of Romney. My mother (in Newton, Mass.) has really learned to hate the guy. Of course, I refer to that paper as "Pravda", and the reference is probably somewhat insulting to the Soviet original.

I don't have a lot of information on Romney, but if he manages to frame himself as the "anti-Dukakis" it will be quite convincing. You would have had to have been there in 1978 seeing all the "Dump the Duke" bumper stickers to really appreciate what a maroon Gov. Dukakis was. Gov. Dukakis was a completely honest, dedicated public servant that never did a thing to enrich himself by use of his public office, but he was economically illiterate and completely out of his depth in an economic crisis. He really was unable to see the irony of his resurrection by President Reagan's defense buildup and passage of Prop 2 1/2 in 1980 (which of course, "Pravda" biterly opposed). Check out Warren Brookes' 1988 editorial in the Wall St. Journal.

BoneUSA said...

after Giuliani's "stolen" campaign strategy book, and seeing how little it seems to have hurt him in the race, does anyone else think this might be some newfangled campaign tactic?

Revenant said...

Interesting that Romney's strategists don't seem to think he's got much of a shot at appealing to voters.

MadisonMan said...

Like Bush, only Better! I suppose that slogan for Brand Romney was dead out of the gate.

It's amazing what you can put on a flash drive. And then you just walk out the door...

dick said...

Mr Fagin,

I was in Boston as a consultant in the late 1980's when Dukakis was running for pres. The things that state did to try to make him palatable were beyond belief. The legislature passed laws trying to make it seem as if he were a good governor. The Globe probably slavered after him to cover up his faux pas about Willie Horton (thank you Algore for bringing that to the attention of the nation) when he did not think he needed to apologize to the family that was terrorized by Willie while he was on vacation outside Mass. The Globe could not say enough good things about Dukakis and enough bad things about his opposition.

Contrast that with the way they are handling the Romney candidacy. In both cases a recent governor runs for president. Guess the Globe lost the script for how to get your governor elected.

Eli Blake said...

McCain has other liabilities as well. And if the right is afraid to drop it on him, and he is the GOP nominee, then be assured that we on the left won't be afraid to.

hdhouse said...

Of course the entire matter begs the observation:

If things are going so swimmingly under the expert guidance and leadership of the Decider and Darth Vader, why the need for a "turnaround"?

and ... I do think that it is rich that he uses PPt....Al Gore anyone?

hdhouse said...

MadisonMan...

Frankly I prefer the slogan:

Like Bush? Love Romney!
(more or less)

Ohhhh this would be such gooey fun!

Theo Boehm said...
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George said...

Theo--

At least Romney smiles.

America likes brands that smile.

Think Tony the Tiger. Think Mr. Clean. Think Energizer Bunny.

Sen. Clinton? Dour. Think Kim il-Jong.

Simon said...

Theo:
"Romney is an obviously bright, competent, disciplined, decent, healthy guy."

So you mean, you got the first mainstream Massachusetts Republican who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy? ;)

jan@theviewfromher said...

The Boston Globe snags 77 PowerPoint slides of inside analysis...and only publishes one. Apparently, they expect everyone to simply accept their summation/interpretation of the other 76 as valid. Do they really not yet get the way new media works?

Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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cokaygne said...

I'm a native of MA who hasn't lived there for a while.

Until Patrick's election, I thought the voters wanted divided government. The "Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" has a reputation as the playground of hacks who would steal the gold off the state house dome if they could figure out a way to get up there. The Big Dig was typical of Mass. politics because it was run by an "independent" state agency comprised of people with close ties to the hackocracy. Romney's election over Shannon O'Brien seemed to me to be a conscious choice of divided government.

Jane Swift was a disaster. The Dems should have won the governor's race. O'Brien styled herself as a feminist but she had a long career in the legislature and in a couple of patronage-rich offices. Luckily, Romney was helped by a stupid Dem strategy of litigating his residence. When you try to decide the election with lawyers, you've lost - ask Al Gore.

Viewed from afar, Romney as governor didn't seem to make much of a difference. From the beginning he had his eye on the next prize. His efforts to reform oversight of the Big Dig were half-hearted until the tunnels started falling apart. He managed to talk the hacks in the legislature into passing a universal health plan that is proving nearly impossible to implement. By the way, did y'all know that the "Duke" achieved universal health care in MA long before Romney http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1154/is_n9_v78/ai_8853944?

Devel Patrick's election is interesting. I don't know what to make of it. The GOP stupidly ran race-baiting ads against him, and managed to put up their own hack against hime. he was helped immensely by the fact that he had zero connections with the legislature. As for the Globe, consider that the NYT had to write off about 40% of its investment in the Globe.

cokaygne said...

Sorry, one more thing about MA. Dems in lesser office have had no place to go for years. Kennedy and Kerry are Senators for life. The state has no chance of gaining congressional representation and real possibilities of losing a seat with every census. Since Weld's election the governorship has been out of reach. Finally a Democrat was elected as governor, but, as I say above, that may have been due in part to the fact that he has no ties to the legislature. Massachusetts is an argument for term limits.

Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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