TDS Managing Editor Ed Kilgore’s “So What’s the Election About?” at the Washington Monthly has some perceptive ruminations on Romney’s strategy options at this juncture. In the wake of the High Court ruling,
…ObamaCare does indeed touch on conservative obsessions–e.g., the “welfare” that “socialists” want to give to those people–that the subject the election was previously “about,” monthly jobs reports and GDP indicators, doesn’t quite arouse…But is that a smart strategy? And is Mitt Romney, who has all but lobotomized himself, his staff and surrogates to prevent presentation of anything other than the pure economic referendum message, on board?
You can almost hear the Republican base’s eyes glazing over at the prospect of more Mitt yada yada about economic indicators. On the other hand, asks Kilgore, “Is a big national debate over health reform–particularly since Democrats may have actually learned a thing or two about how to market reform, and because popular parts of ACA are now being implemented–a slam dunk for Republicans?” Further, adds Kilgore,
…As Paul Waldman points out today, an ACA debate also brings Romney’s own flip-flop back up in a big way, just when he thought he had that problem in his rear-view window…But it’s not clear to me that Romney is going to be able to suppress the desire of conservatives to rant about ObamaCare 24/7. You may recall that in 2008 wingnut activists got so frustrated with John McCain’s refusal to talk about Jeremiah Wright and ACORN that they started disrupting his events. I think we can look forward to a lot more of that if Mitt tries to “get back on message” and talk monotonously about economic indicators when his audiences want him to whup up on the godless babykilling socializers who want to take Medicare away from hardworking Americans in order to help those people.
All in all, it’s an unhappy dilemma for the Mittster: Provoke more discussion about Bain’s outsourcing of American jobs or Romney’s flip-floppage on health care. It’s hard out there, being a flip-flopping job-outsourcer.