Take a look at this Rick Perry spot (h/t Hot Air) trying to make RomneyCare the albatross around Mitt Romney’s neck in the Republican primaries that we all expected it to be:
Good spot, isn’t it? You don’t have to hate ObamaCare with every fiber of your being to appreciate the craftsmanship. A year or so ago, it would never have occurred to me that Romney’s candidacy could withstand the opposition his association with RomneyCare would provoke in conservative circles. A month or so ago, I wouldn’t have thought that Romney could withstand such criticism coming out of Rick Perry’s mouth. But that was before Perry started sounding like a doofus in the Republican debates.
I think I’ve seen this movie before. Four years ago, I was sure John McCain’s association with campaign finance reform, his opposition to the Bush tax cuts and his having joined forces with Ted Kennedy to push comprehensive immigration reform with generous amnesty provisions doomed him in the Republican primaries. Yet no contestant in the Republican field was credible enough with conservatives to make McCain pay for his ideological sins. Romney was too ideologically inauthentic himself, Rudy Giuliani was too liberal on social issues and too tainted by the gamier side of New York City politics; Mike Huckabee was too flaky, Fred Thompson too lethargic.
Even a killer message needs a messenger compelling enough to play the assassin. I’m not seeing assassins in this Republican field.