In Noonah's Sept 18 WSJ column she called the Romney campaign "incompetent" and called for an intervention. This column got a lot of play, but it was on a day with a lot of conservative writers were piling on. Here was the crux on Noonan's column,
It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one. It’s not big, it’s not brave, it’s not thoughtfully tackling great issues. It’s always been too small for the moment. All the activists, party supporters and big donors should be pushing for change. People want to focus on who at the top is least constructive and most responsible. Fine, but Mitt Romney is no puppet: He chooses who to listen to. An intervention is in order. “Mitt, this isn’t working.”Noonan didn't pull any punches and proceeded to outline Romney's incompetence item by item for the benefit of anyone who might not have been paying attention. Some might of thought this was just some tough love, but it now appears that Noonan has no love for Romney.
In her Friday column, Noonan comes back for a second pound of flesh, evidently out of fear that her earlier column was too subtle.
It is true that a good debate, especially a good first one, can invigorate a candidate and lead to increased confidence, which can prompt good decisions and sensible statements. There is more than a month between the first debate and the voting: That's enough time for a healthy spiral to begin.I've followed, supported and volunteered (at very low levels) for my share of losing campaigns, and I've done the same for some winning campaigns. I'm 3 for 7.
But: The Romney campaign has to get turned around. This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant "rolling calamity." A lot of people weighed in, in I suppose expected ways: "Glad you said this," "Mad you said this." But, some surprises. No one that I know of defended the campaign or argued "you're missing some of its quiet excellence."
When a campaign is winning, everything seems to go their way and the gaffe's melt away if they are ever actually noticed. Winning begets winning. If things start breaking your way, you can even stand in front of a large crowd in St Charles MO with all the media present and out of pure ignorance and stupidity yell into a microphone that the fools you are running against are so dumb they think Social Security is a Federal program and no one will even notice. And if the other side dares to mention the remark and suggest that it might call into question the candidate, everyone will rush to brush it off as just a minor misstatement.
The same in true for losing too. When a campaign gets the Loser stink, it seems that nothing can turn the tide. The press notices every little thing, and one dumb comment begets a second, and a third and then suddenly the campaign falls into a panic and a seeming bright and articulate candidate with a heretofore promising political career starts to look like a buffoon. The losing snowballs and then not even a debate performance that would have shamed Socrates is enough to get everyone to stop smirking at the candidate.
Peggy Noonan thinks Romney has the Loser stink.