Mitt Romney won’t explain to the American people what he would do if he were elected president.
Odd though that may sound—especially considering that presidential campaigns are designed specifically to inform voters of such plans—the strategy actually aligns quite well with Romney’s “emotion-free crisis management” style.
“If his negatives are 35 percent and his positives aren’t at least 5 percent higher,” Atwater believed, “it’s politically fatal1.”
Far from a polling fluke, the NBC/WSJ survey has remained fairly consistent over the past six months. In fact, the only significant difference between this year’s results and the same poll’s findings in 2008 is that Romney is disliked more now, as the frontrunner and presumed nominee, than he was in ’08 as a third-place finisher in the GOP primary.
In January, 2008, Romney earned a 28 percent positive review from poll respondents—the exact same positivity rating recorded in this month’s poll. His negative responses, however, have jumped 7 percentage points since 2008, from 32 percent to 39 percent.
The question is, will Atwater’s axiom hold true? Is Romney’s political fate doomed?
Having issued a written non-apology on Saturday, Rush Limbaugh went on air today and again apologized. In an attempt to minimize the damage of his three-day, nine-hour rant against Sandra Fluke, Limbaugh said the following:
But this is the mistake I made. In fighting them on this issue last week, I became like them. Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything I know to be right and wrong, I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke. That was my error. I became like them, and I feel very badly about that. I’ve always tried to maintain a very high degree of integrity and independence on this program. Nevertheless, those two words were inappropriate, they were uncalled for, they distracted from the point that I was actually trying to make, and I again sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her.
I do not think she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words. The apology to her over the weekend was sincere. It was simply for using inappropriate words in a way I never do, and in so doing I became like the people we oppose.
Sandra Fluke has already stated that she does not accept Rush Limbaugh’s apology because it is borne of pressure from advertisers and not sincerity.
But forget about her.
A more important figure at the center of the story has decided — quite graciously, indeed — to accept Rush Limbaugh’s apology.
That person — whose judgment about Limbaugh’s apology is absolutely crucial to any fair discussion of Limbaugh’s sins — is Mitt Romney. During an appearance on The Sean Hannity’s Shitshow, Romney accepted Limbaugh’s apology and then followed Limbaugh’s lead, claiming that the real problem is that liberals spew venom. Classic.
Thus, my announcement: Romney has inspired me to follow his lead. I, too, will forgive Rush Limbaugh for using “those two words to describe Sandra Fluke,” if Rush Limbaugh will answer me one teensy tiny question about the following:
[It's] getting harder and harder to be cheerful…. I am so mad at the press [that] I could just strangle them! And, you know, I think I’ve decided there are going to be some people invited on the bus and some people just aren’t going to be invited on the bus.