Mitt Romney – Too Much, Too Little, Too Late

One of Gordon Gekko’s famous lines in the movie Wall Street was:

“Well, in my book, you either do it right, or you get eliminated.

Mitt Romney hasn’t been doing much right lately.

Even some Obama supporters must feel for him as his last month has ranged from incredibly stupid (47% comment) to terribly unprepared (untimely attack on Obama administration’s foreign policy)….which was preceded by a snore fest of a Republican convention, where Clint Eastwood was the story on what should have been Romney’s night.

Before these “foot in mouth” stumbles, Romney offered very little of himself or his policies, yet was still in a close race with President Obama.

Too Much

In a private room with top fundraisers, Romney offered words about 47% of America that would come to haunt him:

“I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives”.

Instead of sticking to his safe talking points, he said too much in May 2012.  Didn’t Romney or his team know a basic rule of politics? - to always speak as if the world is listening. The owner of that hidden video camera must have been jumping for joy.

When two competitors are in a close race (like the candidates in summer), it’s important for each person to maintain a nice flow and not do too much to upset the balance. The Obama campaign understands that and is highly disciplined.

In addition, attacking Obama on foreign policy before the facts were known about Libya showed a severe lack of preparation. As the Benghazi crisis was unfolding, Romney criticized the current administration for making an “apology for American values”.

As we now know, the attack in Libya took the lives of the US Ambassador and three other Americans. Even some Republicans (media and politicians) were critical of Romney’s statement.  This moment was a classic case of striking out while going for a home run, when all Romney needed to do was keep hitting singles.

Too Little

Romney has offered broad yet unspecified plans of his strategy for America, along with letting the Obama campaign define his image.

In addition, he has failed to inspire, a key ingredient in winning Presidential elections – just ask Reagan, Clinton or Obama.

A)    Low Taxes, Less Governments and Creating Jobs have been central themes for Romney. With a tough USA economy and circumstances dire for millions, one has to think that voters (especially undecided ones) want to here more specifics in order to be persuaded to the Republican side.

B)    Romney has seemed uneasy talking about his Bain Capital background and financial success. Since the Obama campaign has done a very good job painting him as “out of touch” with effective advertising, it’s hard to fathom why Romney doesn’t proudly extol his past experience. He has lived the American dream so why not promote that to all Americans? One should never be bashful about hard-earned success.
C)    Since Romney was a businessman most of his life, the savvy political instincts never seem to come forth.  Maybe he is trying to be something he is not (i.e. appealing to his conservative base), which in life or politics isn't a good thing.  Romney seems like a decent man although his authenticity rarely glows.

Romney has given potential supporters too little to be inspired by.

Too Late

Romney had his chance to shine yet never seized the day with a positive game changer or “wow” moment, therefore not putting any real pressure on a sitting President, vulnerable because of the bad economy.

Despite the lack of sizzle, he was in a good position against Obama before convention season. Instead of riding the wave with singles and the occasional double until November 6, his mouth has put his campaign into disarray.

Offering “Too Much” in the form of unwise words lately, preceded by “Too Little” of Mitt to start with = Too Late.

Could Romney still win the Presidency? Of course.  Only a fool would believe that the race is over as one never knows when a damaging story or event could undermine Obama. The President has taken a significant lead in many states including the all important swing states because of Romney’s missteps, but that could change quickly if Romney gains some momentum.

However, the beginning words to the song by Johnny Mathis and Denise Williams are perfectly suited for some Obama supporters, as they are singing them already:

Guess it's over, call it a day
Sorry that it had to end this way
No reason to pretend
We knew it had to end some day, this way
(Too Much, Too Little, Too Late)

One would think the former capitalist in Romney would display more of the boldness of Gordon Gekko as they are cut from the same cloth (i.e. making money from distressed companies). As a former CEO, one has to think that the boldness is there.

Gekko always played to win and never lacked confidence.  Mitt needs some of that swagger; particularly in Wednesday’s first debate.

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote a column recently advising Mitt to “Go Large”:

Mitt, he’s right. You need to make some Power Moves as you cannot rely on luck at this point.

Do it Big and Do it Right and Do it Now…..or you will be eliminated.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

 Mitt Romney needs some Gordon Ghekko Swagger. (

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