Has Mitt Romney now closed the likability gap?
Over the past few weeks Romney has been sounding more like the Tin Man than an American president.
Perhaps with the selection of Paul Ryan as his running make Romney has bought himself what the Tin Man needed: a heart.
For those who do not remember “The Wizard of Oz” the Tin Man sang the line: “If I only had a heart.”
This morning Maureen Dowd opined about “The Likability Index.” She could have chosen a better title, but “The Romney Likability Gap” was already taken… by this blogger.
Dowd might not have known that she was echoing my post, but ideas work in mysterious ways.
Clearly enough, Dowd was working on her column when the news of the Ryan selection was announced. Thus, she needed a cogent, astute and illuminating comment on whether Ryan would help Romney close the likability gap.
So, she called on a savvy political analyst who just happens to be one of the least likable and least objective politicians in America: former Obama consigliere and current mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel.
Calling Rahm Emanuel shows Dowd committing the sin of sloth.
Anyway, the man who made Chicago into the murder capital of America and who recently embraced another of America’s least likable individuals, notorious bigot Louis Farrakhan told Dowd that likability does not rub off.
In Dowd’s words:
You can bolster your relatability with your No. 2 pick, at least with certain demographics, as Obama did with Joe Biden. But Americans like to like their president. “You can’t outsource likability,” Emanuel says. “You can’t have an offshore account for it in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.”
Why would Dowd grant credence to a flack? It was not her finest moment.
Yet, choosing Ryan was Mitt Romney’s first presidential-level decision. By all accounts it was an excellent decision.
Dowd notwithstanding Paul Ryan is an inspired choice. He is the perfect complement to the candidate, in the sense that he is strong where Romney is weak.
Romney lacks charisma; Ryan has charisma.
Romney seems unprincipled; Ryan is a conviction politician.
Romney lacks experience with the federal government; Ryan knows the federal government.
Romney is weak on policy; Ryan is strong on policy.
When Romney does not know the details he tends to become nasty; Ryan has an excellent command of the details.
Romney is phenomenally wealthy; Ryan is a dedicated public servant who sleeps on a cot in his office.
In choosing Ryan, Romney has shown that he understands where he is weak and knows how to overcome it.
As I say, Paul Ryan is the Un-Romney.