You know, Romney really is not that charismatic. Sure, he looks pretty enough. But he almost always sounds as though he’s addressing a bunch of vice-presidents back at Bain Capital. And the speech really didn’t break much new ground (although these things rarely do).
Cheryl Cronin on NECN said that Romney’s speech basically acknowledges that the 2006 election will be run on Democratic issues: education, health care, and jobs. That’s a good point, and probably quite accurate. And what it means is this: if the Democrats can find a really good candidate in 2006 (is it Reilly? more on that here), and if they can put forth a convincing vision on those issues, we should be able to beat this guy.
But it won’t be easy. Romney may be bland, but it’s not necessarily easy to run against bland – he’s pretty, he’s non-threatening, and he talks a good "moderate" game on issues that people care about. Plus, although we’re glad that Romney’s plan to Republicanize the state legislature failed, it remains the case that some may find comfort in having a Republican Governor to act as some sort of a check against an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature – especially because 14 years later the people of MA are used to Republicans in the corner office.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the speech, and on what we need to do to have a Democrat delivering that speech in January of 2007.