Conservatives love Ronald Reagan. This should be no surprise to anyone. Reagan always presented a charismatic face to the media. He looked comfortable in any circumstance. It doesn’t matter what did or didn’t happen off-camera: when Reagan was in the camera eye, he looked good.
Romney doesn’t have that mojo. This is why he’s not electrifying the electorate the way Reagan did. Romney frequently looks and sounds embarrassingly out of place. Where Reagan made a connection, Romney seems like a stranger.
Lt. Col. Oliver North has the same GOP-style everyman charisma. He took Iran-Contra and actually made it a positive when he ran against Chuck Robb in 1994. Chuck Robb was the Democrat version of Romney in that race, with additional twists: he had to fend off accusations of infidelity and cocaine use. Robb even said he’d take food out of the mouths of widows and orphans if it meant he’d be able to balance the budget.
It took a third-party candidate and a set of stump speeches by Bill Clinton to get Robb re-elected. Without those boosts, Robb was the only incumbent senator in 2000 to lose his bid.
There is no third-party candidate drawing away Democrat votes. There is no big GOP charismatic leader stumping for Romney. Romney has the charisma of a shrub, and I don’t mean George Bush Jr. I mean a short, woody plant common as a landscape decoration. I’m thinking a boxwood shrub.
The GOP wants another Reagan. This is not the conservative they’re looking for. They may holler that he’s better than Obama, but that’s not a reason to vote *for* him as much as it’s a reason to vote *against* Obama.