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December 02, 2011

The Mitt Romney Syndrome: "But the dogs don't like him..." Bring back Dick Gephardt for Dems?

Mitt Romney can't "connect" with y'all. See at today's MSNBC "Voters remain cool toward Romney".

You see The Mitt Syndrome a lot in U.S. presidential politics. The guy is exemplary in nearly all respects: mega-smart and mega-talented (he is--don't kid yourself), well-spoken, energetic, good-looking, celebrated for past successes, did well at the best schools on earth, has family values up the wazoo and a squeaky clean past. He has, in short, a golden résumé. He's a little too perfect maybe?

And for whatever reason, Romney is hopelessly incapable of making a connection with other humans (i.e., voters) outside his admiring circle of family, friends and allies. He's detached and remote--qualities which even John F. Kennedy often displayed but somehow made work for him.

In that respect, Romney reminds you a little bit of Al Gore--but much more of Dick Gephardt, the respected Democratic former Missouri Representative, House Majority Leader, lawyer's lawyer and Eagle Scout. Gephardt impressed me both on paper and visually from the first time I saw him on a close-circuit C-SPAN system in the Longworth Building in 1980. But he couldn't and didn't turn anyone on, either. Of Gephardt, when he last ran for president in 2004, a Midwestern political consultant finally said:

Gephardt is like the Perfect Dog Food. Made with the best ingredients. Tested. Meets all quality standards. Attracts the right investors. Perfectly packaged. And the dog food industry? Competitors are envious and in awe of the product.

Problem is the dogs--the dogs just don't like it.


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Dick Gephardt, now just 70, in 1988.

Posted by JD Hull at December 2, 2011 12:10 PM


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