By Bob Cesca: Yesterday, Mitt Romney received another pulse-poundingly enthusiastic endorsement. This time from former President George W. Bush, who could barely contain his incurable case of Romney Fever when he said: “I’m for Mitt Romney.”
And that was all.
It kind of reminded me of that viral video in which a kid is asked by a reporter about his zombie face-paint and he responds, “I like turtles.” Well, yes, that’s nice. Bush is for Romney. And…?
Of course Bush is for Mitt Romney — they’re both spoiled, entitled, wealthy, conservative, dickish frat boy sons of famous politicians. But Bush clearly doesn’t have anything else to say about the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Bush isn’t known to be a wordy talker, but perhaps his endorsement was so obviously concise because there’s really nothing else to say about Romney.
Other endorsements for Romney have been equally orgasmic.
“I think Gov. Romney is the nominee.” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on the Romney nomination
“I am excited that the process is over.” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) on the Romney nomination
“I’m not as excited as I am desperate.” Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) on the Romney nomination
Here’s Newt Gingrich’s “endorsement” in which he describes Romney as a liar, but people should vote for him anyway because Republicans have to defeat the president.
At this rate, instead of the customary balloon-drop at the convention, staffers will have to drop antidepressants and Red Bull from the arena ceiling. But shhh! Don’t wake the delegates.
In all seriousness, this is what could ultimately sink the Romney campaign. Recent polls show a major enthusiasm gap:
Of those backing Mr. Obama, 64 percent said it is because they feel he deserves to be re-elected, while only 11 percent said they are trying to deny Mr. Romney the spot, another 11 percent said they are supporting the nominated Democrat, and 9 percent said the president is the “lesser of two evils.” [...]
Still, Mr. Romney suffers from a lack of enthusiasm. Less than half of his backers said they are supporting him because they think he is the best candidate. Nearly 20 percent said they are voting to deny Mr. Obama another term, and an additional 19 percent said Mr. Romney is the “lesser of two evils.” A final 10 percent said they are backing whomever the GOP offered up.
So more than half of all Republican voters would vote for anyone with an “R” after their name. They’re voting for Romney because he’s there.
Recent electoral history has proved that Republicans get excited about candidates who believe in something — who have convictions, values and moxie. Romney has none of that. Instead, primary voters absorbed the superficial attitude of congressional Republicans whose only goal is to defeat the president, irrespective of how ridiculous or pathetic they look in the process. So voters defaulted to a candidate who they were told could defeat the president — and not a candidate who is actually strong on his own merits. They’re backing a cardboard standee rather than a politician capable of human emotions.
And who’s going to be enthusiastic about cardboard?
At the risk of sounding defensive, I’m not necessarily concern-trolling here. I’m legitimately anxious about how this table is set. The last time Republicans chose a president despite their lackluster enthusiasm for him, he engaged the nation in all varieties of devilry in order to overcome his electoral and polling impotence. If Romney can convince enough independents to vote against the president, and if Romney succeeds in that endeavor, the first term of the Romney administration will be a nightmare of overcompensation. I’m positive he’ll roll back everything the president has accomplished including the repeat of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, healthcare reform, Wall Street reform, hate crime laws and all the rest. He’ll probably invade Iran, too, with North Korea in the on-deck circle.
So I guess what I’m saying here is that it’s imperative that Democrats keep up their enthusiasm for President Obama and get to work.