Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Romney Video Strategy

Gov. Mitt Romney's recent appearance on conservative (and seemingly somewhat friendly, although very ummmm, aggressive, on the relationship between the executive and judiciary branches) Jan Mickelson's talk show on WHO radio in Iowa (previous guests include G.W. Bush in March, 2005), has driven the GOP news in the past few days. What is interesting -- in the development of the use of video on the web -- is the decision that the Romney campaign made to aggressively post the video and try to use it to drive their message that Romney is a stand-up leader.

What is interesting is the degree to which the interaction between the two -- which begins around 10:45 on the video -- is an apparently 'positive criticism' by Mickelson: "I think you are making a big mistake in distancing yourself from your faith." (Note: such constructive crticism is not unusual for friendly journalists, who generally seek to help strengthen all candidates on their side of the partisan divide.) Romney then engages in a surprisingly frank discussion, and is seems to be already formulating a 'general election' strategy of separating his political stances from those of his religion; yet while he comes across as having a clear understanding of his Church's doctrine, he does not connect how those doctrines animate his politics -- which is Mickelson's ultimate point.

Compelling video and an interesting dilemma for Romney. But posting the video was a simple choice for his staff -- they had none.

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