Why Mitt Romney lost
Updated: Thursday, November 8 2012, 09:33 PM EST
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - After what will probably be long-remembered as the $6 billion election that changed almost nothing, President Barack Obama is moving on to his second term in office.
House Speaker John Boehner has sent a carefully worded message to the President, suggesting he'd be open to new revenues, showing there's a kind of guarded optimism pervading Washington.
But there are still legions of people trying to figure out how Mitt Romney lost.
In Tom's Corner tonight, Tom Van Howe says he can save them all a lot of time.
A lot is being said, and a lot will be said, as the inspectors sift through the wreckage of the Mitt Romney campaign.
How in the world did he lose this thing? It seemed so ripe for the taking.
The economy still in doubt; unemployment still almost eight percent.
They'll be a while in figuring it out, but I think I can save them some time. Even if I don't have the micro-intelligence capacity to tell me why Mabel Hotchkiss of Hoboken and Stanley Callaway of Kalamazoo voted the way they did.
In my view, though, the reason the former Governor of Massachusetts lost the big one is easy to identify.
First though: forget the rich-guy gaffes—the two Cadillacs driven by his wife, that he likes to fire people, that he knows racing-team owners, that he told a room of one-percenters in Boca Raton that 47 percent of the country are moochers; they were bad enough.
But put them aside.
And forget the drawn out Republican primaries in which his Republican opponents attacked him in harsher and more vitriolic tones than President Obama did later on.
They're the ones who called him a flip-flopper, big spender, vulture capitalist and all around know-nothing.
The truth is, in the final analysis, we discovered we didn't really know who Romney is. And we still don't. And the 'a-ha moment' came toward the end of the Republican primaries when a CNN reporter asked Romney advisor Eric Fehnstrom if his candidate wasn't getting pushed so far to the right that it might be hard for him to moderate.
For anyone listening, Fehnstrom's response was a show stopper.
He said they would just hit the reset button for the fall campaign. "It's kind of like an etch-a-sketch," he said. "You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again."
In other words, up until then he was just kind of funnin' with us, just sayin' stuff he and his staff figured would be convenient for us to hear.
About what was he sincere? And about what wasn't he? We don't know. The etch-a-sketch candidate.
After that, how could anything Romney said be taken seriously?
By the time Election Day rolled around, a lot of people who hated Obama voted for Romney. A lot of people voted for Romney because they were Republicans.
If more people voted for Mitt Romney because he was Mitt Romney, very likely he would have won.
Here's what an outsider-looking-in wrote for the Daily Mail in London yesterday: he said hindsight will probably view Romney as a man who appeared to have no core values. "He made plenty of mistakes," the paper said, "but his biggest failing was that even after running for the White House for the best part of six years it was hard to fathom exactly who he was or what he really believed--as opposed to what he thought voters wanted him to believe."
In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.