Friday, September 21, 2012

Chris Wallace Slams Peggy Noonan's Conservative Bona Fides

Here's the report at Politico, "Chris Wallace doubts Noonan's conservatism." (At Memeorandum.)

Yeah, what else is new? Folks might remember in 2008, in September of that year, about the same time in the election cycle, Noonan was caught on an open mic bashing John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin's as "political bullshit." PuffHo has that, "Peggy Noonan, Mike Murphy Caught On Tape Disparaging Palin Choice: "Political Bullshit," "Gimmicky"." (And the video's here.)

Wallace is right: Noonan's an old-line GOP beltway hack. Unfortunately, in the case of her analysis of Mitt Romney's slide, I don't think she's far off the mark. I posted earlier on that, "'It's Time to Admit the Romney Campaign is an Incompetent One...'"

And now Noonan doubles-down on her earlier comments, at today's WSJ, "Noonan: Romney Needs a New CEO":
"Nothing is written." That was T.E. Lawrence to the Arab tribesmen in Robert Bolt's screenplay, a masterpiece, of "Lawrence of Arabia." You write no one off. Nothing is inevitable. Life is news—"What happened today?" And news is surprise—"You're kidding!"

But you have to look at the landscape and see the shape of the land. You have to see it clearly to move on it well.

So here's one tough, cool-eyed report on what is happening in the presidential race. It's from veteran Republican pollster, now corporate strategist, Steve Lombardo of Edelman public relations in Washington. Mr. Lombardo worked in the 2008 Romney campaign. He's not affiliated with any candidate. This is what he wrote Thursday morning, and what he sees is pretty much what I see.

"The pendulum has swung toward Obama." Mitt Romney has "a damaged political persona." He is running behind in key states like Ohio and Virginia and, to a lesser extent, Florida. The president is reversing the decline that began with his "You didn't build that" comment. For three weeks he's been on a roll. The wind's at his back.

How did we get here? What can turn it around? ...
Keep reading for the breakdown. I disagree with Noonan that Romney's comments on Libya, the night of the consulate attack, were worse than the 47 percent "SECRET TAPE." But that's just a quibble, frankly. It looks like Obama actually started getting a push of momentum at that time, aided by the compliant Democrat-Media-Complex, and not insignificantly. (And the press bias to the Democrats is going to be a big story coming out of 2012, by the way, and Gallup's already reporting that a majority of Americans don't trust the mainstream press, a horrible finding for democratic legitimacy, but more on that later).

The question is what to do now? Noonan argues for changes at the top, and a change of focus. Romney needs someone top-flight running his campaign and directing him to victory. Her model is James A. Baker III of the old Reagan-Bush era. But read it all at the link. It could be a whiff of nostalgia, or it could be some cold hard truth.

And with that, I'm looking forward to the debates. A lot's riding on them.

More at Memorandum.

Previous non-sugarcoating here.