As the former Governor of Massachusetts, Mormon Missionary in France and corporate CEO, Romney holds a doctorate from Harvard Law School and MBA from Harvard Business School. He also launched a political campaign for president under the GOP ticket in 2008, ultimately yielding to John McCain. His father, the late George Romney was a former American Motors CEO and repeat Governor of Michigan.
Considering that pedigree, history and experience, it is surprising to witness how Mitt Romney has struggled to create his political brand and communicate his beliefs and intentions to the American public as he considers another presidential election campaign for 2012.
Romney Has Been Typecast as a Politician with a Single Threaded Past
Mitt Romney has largely been defined by the Health Reform Law he crafted and implemented during his stay as governor of Massachusetts. Singly, that trademark has dominated his presence in politics much more so than the successful and impressive results he had obtained in addressing the $3 plus billion deficit-laden state budget of Massachusetts, turning it into a $600 plus million surplus by 2006.
Conversely, the issue of state mandated healthcare coverage serving as the foundation of RomneyCare that is in congruence with the heart of ObamaCare, results in a blurry picture of what separates and distinguishes the GOP approach to healthcare from that of the Democrats.
As Governor, Romney staffed his teams with business experts rather than focusing on political allies and produced amazing results. Politically, he made all the right moves and decisions that resulted in positive political outcomes. It should be easy for Romney to use that experience and outcome as ammunition to protect his credentials and presidential qualifications.
Why then, is Mitt Romney one of the most misunderstood and confusing political figures potentially running for president in 2012?
Without question, it is due to his inability to present himself as a multi-faceted and experienced politician. As much as it has historically been an effective strategy to let results speak for themselves, that approach is supremely ineffective in today’s world of information bombardment via technology, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, all fueled by robust and powerful smartphones, driven by the the pervasive and ubiquitous presence of internet access across the country and world.
Technology has flooded people’s inboxes, televisions and phones with so much information it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern truth from untruth, much less define and profile a politician. Those individuals that have recognized and leveraged social media and modern technology to effectively communicate and define their brand of politics have unquestionably been successful.
President Obama is a case in point as he leaned on social media in the 2008 election, along with former President John F Kennedy as he controlled and leveraged the newness of national television and the news media in 1960 to influence his brand and image.
A secondary issue stemming from Romney’s struggle to project his political brand is its impact on the Republican Party, making it a large target for Democrats to extend the confusing and narrow image of Romney to the entire GOP political bench.
Watch recent news coverage of Mitt Romney as he defends his Healthcare Plan:
Romney has a small window of opportunity in time to definitively create his political brand and mold his image as a presidential front-runner and worthy opponent, prior to the beginning of what will undoubtedly become a fast-paced strategically and technologically driven presidential campaign.
Failing to do so will result in Mitt Romney being overrun by his fellow GOP candidates and falling to the back of the pack.
Image credit: Wikipedia
You can reach Michael Cerkas via email at firstname.lastname@example.org