Has a major-party presidential candidate ever fallen from grace this quickly? It’s only been ten days since Mitt Romney lost his bid for the presidency, and he is well on his way to becoming persona non grata within his own party.
The reason is Romney’s profoundly stupid comments on a conference call during which he blamed his failure to unseat President Obama on Obama’s alleged penchant for giving away free stuff. Honestly, it’s amazing that he didn’t make reference to the “Obamaphones.”
What Romney really did on that conference call, of course, is demonstrate that his “Etch-A-Sketch” move to the center was pure fiction, and that the real Mitt Romney is the guy we saw in the infamous 47% video. The guy whose disdain for millions and millions of his fellow Americans is so deep that it’s difficult to fathom. The guy who has redefined the old adage about being born on third base and thinking that he hit a triple.
Anyway, Republicans who hope to have some kind of future for themselves and for their party are begging Romney not to let the door hit him on the ass as he exits the national scene. From the ultra-conservative pols like Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker, to the less extreme like Susana Martinez, to the moderate-ish like Chris Christie, to the pundits like Joe Scarborough, nobody is rushing to defend Romney’s idiotic remarks. Well, almost nobody. Oh, Bill. Jon Stewart utterly humiliated you last night. You really should just stop before it gets worse.
What this reflects, I think, is the degree to which nobody in the GOP ever really liked Romney very much. Yeah, they voted for him, and they said they wanted him to win and all. But if this was a guy who had a big reservoir of good will built up inside the party, a dumb remark on a conference call wouldn’t have this immediate and dramatic effect. In contrast, look at what always happens with Joe Biden’s various gaffes. Nobody is saying “oh, that’s just Mitt being Mitt.” These guys all know who the real Mitt Romney is, and they can’t get him off the stage fast enough.