Thursday, February 02, 2012

Never Too Late to Learn?

In what they admit may be the first in a long-running series, the WSJ editorial board tries to explain What Mitt Really Meant:

Mr. Romney's larger mistake is to think and speak in "class" terms. He touts his concern for the "middle class" all the time, as if he's trying to show that a rich guy can identify with average Americans. But this is a game that Democrats play better, and it leads Mr. Romney into cul-de-sacs like saying the poor are fine because they benefit from government, while the middle class don't. Mr. Obama will turn this into an argument for hooking the middle class on more government.

Mr. Romney's failures to communicate are common among businessmen and other normal people who have the right instincts but haven't spent their lives thinking about politics. He also recently ran into trouble when he said he liked firing people, when he was really talking about the discipline of market competition.

Still, his business now is politics, and as the Republican front-runner he has an obligation to explain how conservative principles and policies can address America's current problems. We'll be happy to translate for him in these columns, but it would be less politically painful if Mr. Romney sat down for a week-long tutorial with, say, Paul Ryan, Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush and others who can help him avoid such obvious liberal traps.

You would think that after spending the last six years essentially doing almost nothing but running for president, Romney would be better prepared by now to avoid such pitfalls. The fact that he isn't should give Romney supporters pause. If Romney does indeed secure the GOP nomination as now seems likely, he would do well to spend a considerable amount of time with the gentlemen listed above to learn some rather basics tricks of the political trade.