September 20, 2012

"If your principles are clear you don’t need focus groups"

Roger’s Rules -- Newton’s first Law of Motion Applied to Political Strategy (with a brief excursus on Gaffes):

...Finally, let me observe that there is often a lot to be said for shooting before you take aim.  If your principles are correct, if your vision is clear, you are already aiming in the right direction. Just pull the trigger.  In fact, this is something Obama understands perfectly well. His administration has unleashed a continuous barrage since January 2009. I happen to think he is aiming in exactly the wrong direction. But his instincts about when (if not what) to shoot at are correct. If your principles are clear you don’t need focus groups and the abundance of caution they instill. You need a simple, clear, and (I’ll use the dread word again) manly policy for the country. I think that, deep down, Mitt Romney has such a vision. Hitherto, he has allowed it to be obscured by too diligent adherence to the false wisdom of focus groups. The path to victory is cleared by the candidate that has momentum. Inertia in the positive, irresistible sense is within Romney’s grasp. He needs but seize it....

The general point is dead on. You need to know what you believe, and then express it. One can't be making constant calculations, there just isn't the time. I have my doubts though about Romney being able to project any vision. He's a problem-solver, a technocrat. He's spent a lifetime thinking about what "works." And just assuming that the world has already worked out where it wants to go.

Posted by John Weidner at September 20, 2012 6:47 AM
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