There is little doubt, even among Republicans, that the Romney campaign is possibly the lamest in recent political history, possibly ever. Okay, maybe not the lamest. Thomas E. Dewey's campaign was fairly boneheaded. After the polls put him way ahead of Truman, Dewey decided he didn't need to campaign anymore, while Truman feverishly toured the country.
Here's what one newspaper said about Dewey's campaign:
"No presidential candidate in the future will be so inept that four of his major speeches can be boiled down to these historic four sentences: Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead."
Clearly, that editor was mistaken about future candidates. Remember this: "I love this state. The trees are the right height."
And the last one sounds like something George W. Bush might have said. "Our future lies ahead." I'm no physicist, but I'm guessing that the past has already happened.
But why is the Romney campaign so pathetic? Is it because his campaign staff is spectacularly incompetent? Or is Romney doing what so many candidates do -- is he ignoring his advisers and listening to his gut?
Who, for example had the brilliant idea of letting Clint Eastwood speak without vetting his speech? That idiotic move cost them a whole news cycle and made Marco Rubio (not to mention Romney himself) irrelevant.
Who decided to choose Paul Ryan as his running mate, a man whose voting record conflicts with much of Romney's vague "plan" for America? Even Mr. Excitement, Tim Pawlenty would have been more reasonable. Ohio Senator Rob Portman, another dullard, would have been a good move. A woman would have been a wise choice. Any woman. (Okay, that didn't work out so well last time.) Hell, my city councilman would have been better. He has excellent foreign policy instincts.
And most recently, there's Romney's tone deaf response to the Libyan crisis, an event that has Republicans scratching their heads, wondering whether their candidate is even fit to serve.
The list goes on. I'd continue, but I don't want to exceed the length limitations by ten thousand words.
So I'm guessing that Romney is following his gut. After all, he has said repeatedly that he likes to fire people who don't adequately perform the work he's paying them for. I can think of about fifty reasons why he should have fired these bozos months ago. Yet, for some reason he hasn't. Perhaps it's because he's not listening to them.
Following one's gut works for some candidates. Lyndon Johnson, for example, was the consummate politician. (I know, he lost to Kennedy, but he beat Goldwater.) So is Clinton, who managed to get elected in spite a series of misdeeds that would have sunk anyone with less skill. Kennedy was pretty damn good too. Even Nixon had the right instincts.
But Romney has no clue. What kind of a politician knows he's going to be running for president, but keeps funds in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands? What kind of a bonehead knows he's going to have to reveal his tax returns, yet does nothing to make them at least appear reasonably acceptable? What kind of a candidate makes flip-flopping an art form?
Romney clearly does not know the first rule of lying: If you're going to lie today, try to remember the lie you told yesterday. Or ask your campaign staff to remind you.
Listening to your gut works, but not if you're bloated, constipated and given to long, boisterous bouts of flatulence.
Word of advice Mitt: If you are indeed listening to your gut, you need a colonoscopy pronto. Or a colon cleanse. Maybe a laxative or six before you open your mouth the next time. Prunes work sometimes.
Or, better yet, an enema.