Monday, January 29, 2007

Romney's economic message

An interesting article by James Pethokoukis at U.S. News and World Report about Romney’s economic message:

Romney, whose gracefully aging looks are sometimes compared with Ronald Reagan's, sounded somewhat Gipperesque in that he talked about how tax cuts boost economic growth…Romney also talked about his healthcare reform efforts in the Bay State. But when he talked about healthcare, it was more in the context of a top-down, budget-concern issue than a bottom-up, kitchen-table-concern issue. I'm not sure how well millionaire Romney, who cofounded a private equity investment firm and is the son of former auto executive and Michigan Gov. George Romney, will connect with average voters who have economic worries.

This is certainly a concern for the Romney campaign, albeit a lesser one compared to other concerns at the moment. Romney has crafted a well reasoned message centered around the beneficial effects of tax cuts and fiscal restraint. However, the question is whether this will resonate with the average voter. Does the average voter cast a ballot on detached reasoning or is that voter more impulsive and emotional when it comes time to cast a vote? Romney has banked on Americans’ ability to view and weigh economic issues. He has chosen to avoid the populist message of Mike Huckabee (as described in the article) or Democrats like John Edwards. It will be seen whether this is a winning strategy, but it highlights one of the major differences between Romney and other contenders. Romney is an intellectual elite, as seen by his impressive resume. However, as such, his message can be dismissed to the extent that people don’t feel that he can empathize.

Personally, I feel that much of those concerns are washed away when people see or hear him in person. His message may be academic in nature, but his personal style and warmth are engaging in such a way that it empathy is assumed rather than not.

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Blogger Marc said...

It'll be interesting to see if he can connect with the voting public at large. The bad news for Romney (and Republicans at large), is that, according to most economic indicators, the US economy is pretty healthy. With Republicans hurting as badly as they are in spite of these numbers, however, it seems as though Iraq might trump the economy in the 2008 election.

12:02 AM  

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