By: John LeBoutillier

The 2012 presidential election remains Romney’s to lose.

The deteriorating economy is President Obama’s albatross – and should be enough to defeat him on November 6th.

But – and it is a significant “but” – Mitt Romney has yet to convert this inherent advantage into an asset. Why not? Because Romney seems to be a step slow politically. It is alarming to see a few things:

• The President – as a candidate – not as a president – is a far superior political candidate than Romney.

• He is hungrier.

• He switches tactics on a dime.

• He and his campaign are setting the tone and terms of each week’s debate.

• Overall, Team Obama is playing a weak hand much better than Team Romney is playing their far stronger hand.

Now, let’s look at what is wrong with Romney:

• He is a wooden, stiff, stilted candidate;

• On the stump and in TV interviews, he cannot connect with anyone;

• He has clearly lost sight of who he really is: a non-ideological problem-solver;

• Instead he has twisted and turned himself into trying to sound like something he clearly is not: a true-blue conservative;

• This turn-into-a-pretzel maneuver is forefront in his head at all times; he is constantly afraid to deviate from the Right – even when the Right is wrong, i.e. on Simpson Bowles, taxes-on-the-rich, and Pentagon spending cuts;

• Team Romney is awful. They are the single worst challenging campaign team – ever – in the modern era;

• They are slow; they are sloppy and un-disciplined – just look at the horrible behavior of the Romney travelling press secretary in Israel and Poland;

• They are stupid, i.e. the Etch-A-Sketch and “It’s not a tax” pronouncements of Eric Fehrnstrom;

• On the ObamaCare ruling by the Supreme Court, it took Team Romney six days - six days!!! – to agree with the Court that the penalty was indeed a tax??? What is so hard about this?

• Now comes the Veep selection. There should be worry over this choice as the Romney High Command seems lost at sea. It is possible they will pick a dud like Pawlently who gives them absolutely nothing. He proved to be an ineffectual campaigner in 2011 when he ran for president. He probably does not put Minnesota back in play. And he does not help in any other states.

• His sole claim-to-fame is that Romney likes him in part because Pawlenty refused to really tear into Romney over “OBomneyCare” in the Fox debate last spring.

• There are not the reasons to select a running mate.

In sum, Romney and his staff better get their act in gear – and soon.

They are blowing – slowly – this election.

Yes, the economy could still slide downward and perhaps make Obama un-electable.

But Romney needs to get out there with a positive, inspirational message about why the country should turn to him.

So far he has been woefully lacking as a candidate – and as a leader.

"Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Former US Rep. John LeBoutillier is co-host of CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL, airing live every Monday at 2 PM ET on  He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

John LeBoutillier can be reached at:

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Published in the August 7, issue of  Ether Zone.
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