The Campaign Spot

Mitt Romney vs. The Impossible Expectations

When Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, a fan told me that creator George Lucas was doomed to disappoint fans of the original trilogy; he said that the film we were about to see had to compete with the ideas, images, and stories that had been playing in our imagination since the original trilogy finished. Since no film could possibly equal the expectations in every fan’s mind, it was doomed to garner reactions of,  ”well, it wasn’t as good as I had hoped.”

We can rehash the flaws of the Phantom Menace another time, but I wonder if another dynamic is at work with Mitt Romney’s speech today. If you’ve been following this race, chances are you already have an opinion on Romney and the Mormon faith. Maybe you have no problem with that creed; maybe you find it a little weird; maybe you’re deeply troubled by it or maybe you’re like the caller on Chris Core’s radio show yesterday that said Romney could say nothing short of renouncing his faith that would change his opinion.
Chances are, you have an idea in your head of what you think Romney should say. And my guess is, he’s not going to say it. A lot of people are going to walk away saying, “Why did he say X when he should have talked about Y?” This is where announcing it three or four days ahead of time probably hurts him. It’s helped him dominate the news cycle, and it may have taken some attention away from the lawn care mess and the push poll stuff.
Lengthy excerpts can be found in the Corner.

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