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Voters In States That Know Romney Best Are Not Buying Into Him

By Joe Rothstein — October 29, 2012

Editor, EINNEWS.com

Step back and take a good look at a map of Michigan. It takes only a slight amount of imagination to see a state shaped like a mitt.

And, of course, Michigan should be Mitt country. His father, George Romney, was the high visibility CEO of a major auto company and then served as governor. His mother ran as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Mitt, himself, returned to Michigan this year as a candidate for President, professing how good it was to be home.

“I love being in Michigan,” Romney told his audience. “Everything seems right here. You know, I come back to Michigan; the trees are the right height. The grass is the right color for this time of year, kind of a brownish-greenish sort of thing. It just feels right.”

Aside from the peculiarities of praising tree height, isn’t it worth noting that the state that looks like a mitt, and where the Romney family has such deep roots under that “right” grass color, would be voting for Barack Obama?

Michigan doesn’t even make it onto the list of battleground “swing states.”

Romney has more than one position on most major issues, some diametrically opposite of the other. And It’s in keeping with that inconsistency that Romney would call more than one state “home.”

Massachusetts is the state where he was a student, then a businessman, and for four years a governor. But, like Michigan, voters in this “home” state aren’t supporting Romney for President, either.

Neither are voters in New Hampshire, where Romney actually does have a home. And, if the polls are correct, no state reached by the Boston media market, which takes in a lot of territory, and which Governor Romney dominated for so many years, is voting for him.

There’s a message here that should give voters elsewhere pause. When voters in states that know him best are rejecting Mitt Romney, that’s a bright warning flare.

What it means is that voters in states who don’t know Romney as well as those in his array of “home” states must take his promises on faith, not past performance. Many seem ready to do that, particularly since the first Romney-Obama televised debate.

In that debate, during 90 minutes, many voters somehow developed the flip side of Romnesia. They forgot what Romney told the room of billionaires when he believed no one else was watching---that 47 percent of us are dregs on society whom he doesn't care about.

Since that debate, we’ve heard little about Romney’s resistance to releasing his tax records and what it means for a potential President to have secret Swiss and Cayman island tax avoidance accounts.

Neither has there been much discussion about Romney's actual business record, which was devoted to making the rich richer with few concerns over the fate of U.S. workers, their pension programs or their communities.

The Romney who ran something of a scorched earth primary campaign, trashing immigrant students, mocking global warming, explaining why Romneycare had no relationship to Obamacare, and promising never, never, never, under any circumstances to increase taxes on anyone for any reason---that Romney seems to have faded into the distant past, buoyed by 90 aggressive TV minutes in early October.

But that Romney, while temporarily stuffed in a closet, is the real Romney. If he gets 270 electoral votes he gets a pass to come out and do what he actually has promised to do, and which his fellow Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate (and his own vice president) will demand that he do:

--Throw 45 million Americans off the health insurance rolls “on day one.”

--Reignite the Cold War, with Russia as “the number one enemy.”

--Draw a “red line” with Iran. (We should have no illusions about what that means).

--Invoke his promised immigration policy of “self-deportation,” which, translated, means make life so miserable for so many undocumented immigrants and their U.S.-born children that they will flee to countries of their origin, or, in the case of those children, where they’ve never been.

--Make the Bush tax cuts permanent, cut taxes across the board by another 20 percent, and hope the magic of the market brings in enough revenue to fill the gap. (The same logic Bush & Company used just a few years ago that turned a budget surplus into hundreds of trillions of debt).

--Also, Romney has promised to unravel the controls President Obama and the Democrats (with no Republican votes) put in place to stop Wall Street from gambling the world’s economy into chaos.

Former President Bill Clinton reminded everyone at the Democratic Party convention and those who watched on TV that Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before he took office and doubled it after he left. Why would we expect a different result from the very same policies reinstated by a Romney presidency and a Tea Party-steeped Republican congressional majority?

President Clinton also summed up the Romney and Republican argument against President Obama in just a few words: “We left him a total mess, he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.”

The voters who know Mitt Romney best aren’t buying this argument. If others do, based on thinnest of promises, backed by little but faith in his assuring words and billions of dollars worth of advertising from no-name contributors,
expect years of widespread buyers’ remorse.

(Joe Rothstein can be contacted at joe@einnews.com)

Joe Rothstein is editor of U.S. Politics Today. His career in politics spans 35 years, as a strategist and media producer in more than 200 campaigns for political office and for many political causes. He was a pioneer in professional political consulting and one of the founding members of the American Association of Political Consultants. During his career Mr. Rothstein has served as editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anchorage Daily News and adjunct professor at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. He has a master's degree in journalism from UCLA.