Mitt Romney – love him or hate him, there’s one thing that’s clear – he’s quite the politician.
Some political candidates choose the archaic techniques of the past, choosing a political outlook based on close personal convictions. These rubes use their principles as an ethical political compass by which they draw their positions on various issues.
And then, if one were to somehow make it into office, he or she would actually go about representing the issues on which they campaigned.
But Mitt Romney is better than that. He is… electable.
A politician than can’t be elected is a bad politician. And I assure you, Mitt Romney is a very good politician. He avoids the pitfalls of the past, and embraces the way of post-Supreme Court vs. Citizens United American politics.
Now that corporations fund the campaigns of every GOPer, it doesn’t matter particularly much what Romney thinks. What really matters is if he can hit the talking points that are most effective in any given situation. It doesn’t matter if these talking points are inconsistent, so long as his audience shows up on poll day in his support.
So in an attempt to rally support, Mitt Romney has donated his body to the Republican Party, who has turned him into the well-oiled political machine that we’ve been so closely acquainted with this last year.
According to a recent Financial Times article: “Mr. Romney’s 1.3 million Facebook fans may lag far behind Barack Obama’s 25 million, but he is well ahead of Republican rivals in understanding how to cull data from social networks to woo undecided voters and mobilize volunteers.”
“Building a Facebook Fan page, you are sitting on a gold mine of data,” said Patrick Ruffini, a Republican online strategist. “The Romney camp gets this.”
So what is it that Romney is doing that the other candidates are not?
As the Financial Times reports, “Heading into the South Carolina primary, Mr Romney is testing campaign messages on Facebook and Twitter, watching which posts are liked and monitoring comments, then tweaking his message according to local voter sentiment, said Alan Webber, an analyst with the Altimeter Group who has been studying the social media activity of all the GOP candidates.”
This way, Romney can prevent ever having to defend an honest interpretation of himself or his views. He is better than that, remember! Indeed: “Mr Romney’s team is harnessing new features of social media to build on Republicans’ strength in microtargeting – tailoring campaign messages to precise segments of the population based on demographics and cultural interests.”
He knows exactly the Mitt Romney that Seattle wants to see, or Philadelphia, or Springfield, or Honolulu. And in any situation, he emulates that specific version of himself.
So it’s all but decided that Romney is going to best his peers and rival Barack Obama in the presidential race of 2012. Does he have a chance against the only other man who can match his social media innovation? Perhaps. Because, if anyone can be the man who you want him to be, it’s Mitt Romney.
Cody Miller is a student of English, Education, and Peace and Conflict Studies at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Born in Whitehall Township (a suburb of Allentown, PA), he is an avid writer and activist, most closely affiliated with Students for Sensible Drug Policy; a student-run drug policy reform organization. Cody resides in downtown West Chester, and works as a writer while attending classes as a full-time student.