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Voters preferred Romney’s leadership qualities, Obama’s caring

This chart makes Tuesday’s loss even more bitter.

(Via David Steinberg.) No wonder Obama’s reelection just doesn’t feel right.

UPDATE:  Blogging at Ace, Baseball Crank offers:

Yes, the Oprahization of politics sucks but it’s a reality. Telling voters, “Hey idiots, you’re voting for the wrong reasons” is not going to carry the day.

As conservatives we deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. The challenge is to change this reality, not bitch about it.

He’s right.  Next Republican candidate has to show that he cares.  Sad thing that Mitt Romney spent his entire adult life showing that he cared about other people.  And apparently that didn’t get across to voters.

Remind me again, what specific things has Obama done to show that he cares?  Has he ever helped save boaters from drowning when their boat went under?  Spent time with a dying teen and helped him draft a will?  Brought Christmas gifts and offer to pay for college for two paralyzed young men?



  1. It doesn’t matter in the big picture what voters think on any issue. The election is over, and it is time to move on.

    Comment by Sandi — November 10, 2012 @ 4:40 pm - November 10, 2012

  2. Psychology 101: arrogant narcissists who talk down on you are not able to ‘care’ about anybody else but themselves.

    What a gullible electorate

    Comment by susan — November 10, 2012 @ 4:40 pm - November 10, 2012

  3. Was this an internet survey or exit poll results? If just an internet survey, I’m not too sure how much value one should put on it.

    Comment by C3 Editor — November 10, 2012 @ 4:50 pm - November 10, 2012

  4. Incredible that those people could seriously think Obama cares about them, except maybe as little cogs in His great wheel.

    Next Republican candidate has to show that he cares.

    I disagree. Nothing telegraphs “I don’t care, and you shouldn’t vote for me because I also don’t have any self-respect”, more than making self-conscious efforts to “show you care”.

    Remember Bush 41, reading straight from his cue cards on the campaign trail? “Message: I care.” Ugh. OK, that’s an extreme, but do you see the general point?

    The best advice is to be yourself… don’t try to be something your not. Treat the voters as adults. Make honest, grownup appeals to them.

    Now some will say, “Well Romney just tried that and it didn’t work.” True. So, what? Are we supposed to abandon who we are? Abandoning who we are, and trying to out-Democrat the Democrats in treating people as children, is the way to win? Win what, exactly? What kind of victory would that be?

    Pick the wrong means, and you destroy your end – even as you ‘win’ it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 10, 2012 @ 4:51 pm - November 10, 2012

  5. (continued) Your recite some good deeds of Romney’s. But Romney didn’t do them to “show he cares”. He did them because he actually cares. He was being real. That’s what we need, whether or not it wins elections.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 10, 2012 @ 5:01 pm - November 10, 2012

  6. […] Voters preferred Romney’s leadership qualities, Obama’s caring […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Americans may have reelected Obama, but they want to repeal Obamacare — November 10, 2012 @ 5:01 pm - November 10, 2012

  7. Nope, CJ, not an internet survey. Numbers appear to be culled from this.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — November 10, 2012 @ 5:07 pm - November 10, 2012

  8. […] Voters preferred Romney’s leadership qualities, Obama’s caring […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Katrina on the Hudson (& the Atlantic & Long Island Sound) — November 10, 2012 @ 6:45 pm - November 10, 2012

  9. First of all, I think it’s completely dumb that we need to have a nominee that “feels people’s pain” and “cares.” That’s not to say I want a psychopathic president who has no concern for people. Rather, I just don’t think it helps to be “cared” about by a person who either only cares about looking concerned or whose concern is always carried out in counterproductive or ineffectual ways. I’ve often appreciated people sharing their concern for me when I’ve had setbacks in my life, but the one who ultimately helps me out of my low points is the one who actually does something tangible, no matter how aloof that person’s personality is. As for as the presidency goes, I’d rather have a hyper-competent robot (whether we’re talking about an actual robot or Romney) than our president.

    In spite of the silliness of needing a “caring” president, I have to acknowledge our culture as it is, and therefore, I do think it’s politically necessary that we have nominees that are actually caring. But we already do. Regardless of whatever personal and political flaws they may have had, Bush, McCain, and Romney are all guys who did have a record of caring about people. We don’t need a nominee who is more caring as much as we need a nominee, backed up by the whole GOP, more aggressive at fighting back against the Democrats’ efforts at character assassination. The problem with Romney is not a lack of concern for middle and lower class people but that we let Democrats get away with making people believe that Romney is unconcerned about them. Not allowing the media and the Democratic party to get away with painting our nominee as uncaring is easier said than done, however. It isn’t as if the GOP, as well as individual Romney supporters such as myself, didn’t consciously try to refute attacks on Romney’s empathy. Romney’s wealth and personality may have made this a more difficult task than it would be with most other candidates, but it’s not realistic to believe that we are likely to nominate a middle class person. (For that matter, neither would the Democrats. Both Republican and Democratic pols live privileged lives that are not like yours or mine.)

    So, our battle goes beyond just finding the right candidate. The problem isn’t just how the media and the Democrats do it during election season with whomever the current nominee happens to be but the engrained bias of our culture to believe that conservative politics is synonymous with indifference toward the average person’s wellbeing. I don’t think I’m wise enough to provide good answers, but I do believe we need to acknowledge that the problem is not just with one nominee but rather is a persistent problem based in tainted perceptions about the nature of conservatives rather than reality, and we should not only try to find candidates less vulnerable to attacks on their empathy but also work to change people’s preconceptions about conservatives.

    Comment by chad — November 10, 2012 @ 7:06 pm - November 10, 2012

  10. The problem with reality is that it is almost impossible to comprehend. I mean, that many Americans actually vote for the candidate who they think cares about them? I can’t imagine anyone being that stupid. If an insufficient amount of people will be rational, there is no point in even trying to appeal to them because you’re screwed either way.

    I suppose the best thing to do is to try to work at the local level to fix the education system, because it clearly isn’t doing anything other than teaching people how to be perpetual, stupid infants.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 10, 2012 @ 8:02 pm - November 10, 2012

  11. Rattlesnake, your typical Obama voter is the kind of person Jay Leno features in a “Jaywalking” segment. You don’t think the Liberals destroyed the public education system by accident do you?

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 9:35 pm - November 10, 2012

  12. He cares because he repealed DADT, he evolved on gay marriage, his skin is brown so he cares about other brown-skinned people, he hugged that woman after Sandy, he wants to rob the rich to give to the poor and, most importantly, he cares because he says so.

    Comment by Az Mo in NYC — November 10, 2012 @ 9:45 pm - November 10, 2012

  13. Too bad he didn’t care enough to send help when the consulate in Benghazi was pinned down.

    Comment by V the K — November 10, 2012 @ 10:11 pm - November 10, 2012

  14. It is a marketing problem, a big one, but no more than that.

    The natural constituency of the GOP are people with a stake in the future. And who are these people?

    The GOP and its candidates must position themselves as the party of the regular guy. The working man and woman. Soon everyone who works for a living (in the private sector) will be a net payer into the system. These are the voters you can have. These people tend to be somewhat socially conservative, but not stridently so. They don´t like foreign entanglements. They care about bread-and-butter issues where conservatives have ceded ground without reason.

    Ethnicity doesn´t matter. Don´t pander to hip chicks and the youth vote. Screw big business. What have they ever done for us? Only conservative ideas can ease the burden of the working man. That must be your starting point. You are pro-business because JOBS and dignity, not some abstract principle. You care about education that is worth something ten years from now. You care about debt because it endangers our future, not because you “hate government”. That IS conservative.

    If that sounds counterintuitive, it is because too many Republicans have internalized the liberal view of themselves. I cannot stress this enough.

    If they had not, it would be natural for them to put problems in these terms and to address minorities and blue collar people. Again, we have ceded this ground for no good reason.

    You also have to destroy the idea that liberal Democrats have our best interests at heart. With Obama, it should have been easy, but you needeed to redefine him and to do that you needed to attack him. Personally. For what he has done.

    We still need to find a candidate who gets that.

    Romney chose not to attack Obama personally. Apparently, the idea was that you cannot win over his voters if you question the choice they made in 2008. It was a miscalculation. Obama deserved to be attacked, because he is harming the future of regular people. Including new arrivals. Romney didn´t consistently put it in those terms. And Obama fans still whine about negative campaigning.

    Comment by El Gordo — November 11, 2012 @ 8:09 am - November 11, 2012

  15. “The natural constituency of the GOP are people with a stake in the future.”

    You’ve hit it on the head right there – almost. The natural constituency of the GOP are people who are aware that they have a stake in the future.

    Most “liberals” or “progressives” (always use quotes; the terms are ironic) have a stake in the future, unless they intend to die right now. Conservatives are those who are aware of this. “Liberals” or “progressives” have no conception of the future, but they want…we’ll something or other right now.

    They don’t know what, exactly, or what it will cost, but that’s not important.

    Comment by alanstorm — November 11, 2012 @ 10:06 am - November 11, 2012

  16. alanstorm, I agree with that. But I think everyone who is not a doctrinaire liberal can be made to think about the future. Our natural constituency encompasses all people who struggle to pay their own way, as most people have to, even in liberal fairyland. Of course Democrats and their media will lie to them, but whether they know it or not, it is in their interest to vote conservatively. It´s just that conservative candidates must be able to speak about economic anxiety in a down to earth way. People as different as Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin seem to understand this.

    I just discovered that Ross Douthat, of all people, made a point similar to mine:

    “… Both shifts, demographic and economic, must be addressed if Republicans are to find a way back to the majority. But the temptation for the party’s elites will be to fasten on the demographic explanation, because playing identity politics seems far less painful than overhauling the Republican economic message. […]

    No doubt a more moderate tone on immigration would help Republicans. But the idea of amnesty as a Latino-winning electoral silver bullet is a fantasy.

    First, Hispanics are not single-issue voters: they can be alienated by nativism, but they can’t just be won by the promise of green cards and open borders. (After Reagan signed an amnesty bill in 1986, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote fell in the next presidential election.) Latino voters are not, as conservative strategists often claim, “natural” Republican voters — notwithstanding their (moderate) social conservatism, they tend to lean leftward on economic issues, and to see government more as an ally than a foe. They can be wooed, gradually, if Republicans address their aspirations and anxieties, but they aren’t going to be claimed in one legislative pander.

    At the same time, a Republican Party that moves too far leftward on immigration risks alienating its white working-class supporters, an easily disillusioned constituency whose support the party cannot take for granted. These voters already suspect that Republican elites don’t have their interests at heart: Mitt Romney lost last week because he underperformed among minority voters, but also because a large number of working-class whites apparently stayed home. If the party’s only post-2012 adjustment is to embrace amnesty, they aren’t likely to turn out in 2016 either.

    What the party really needs, much more than a better identity-politics pitch, is an economic message that would appeal across demographic lines — reaching both downscale white voters turned off by Romney’s Bain Capital background and upwardly mobile Latino voters who don’t relate to the current G.O.P. fixation on upper-bracket tax cuts. […]

    The bad news is that unlike a pander on immigration, a new economic agenda probably wouldn’t be favorably received by the party’s big donors, who tend to be quite happy with the Republican Party’s current positioning.

    And at the Chicagoboyz blog, I found this quote within a quote:

    “In a day-after piece, Washington Post reporters Scott Wilson and Philip Rucker wrote: “As part of his role, [Paul] Ryan had wanted to talk about poverty, traveling to inner cities and giving speeches that laid out the Republican vision for individual empowerment. But Romney advisers refused his request to do so, until mid-October, when he gave a speech on civil society in Cleveland. As one adviser put it, ‘The issues that we really test well on and win on are not the war on poverty.’”

    That is the authentic sound of the Republican political operative class at work: in charge, supremely confident, essentially clueless.”

    The whole thing is a must read and lends support to my theory that Paul Ryan is a great man:

    Comment by El Gordo — November 11, 2012 @ 11:57 am - November 11, 2012

  17. I blame Bill Clinton for setting the nation down the “I feel your pain” road.

    The reality that burns me is that Obama probably doesn’t care about their pain. Obama is 100% insulated against the economy he has created.

    His energy policies are driving up the price of energy, but when you live in the elite wealth bubble, you don’t feel the paint of a dollar or two difference in gay prices. You don’t notice that a loaf of bread is almost a dollar higher. You don’t notice that milk is higher. Shoot Obama probably doesn’t buy his own groceries.

    Obama says he cares, and somewhere he might care that there are people who are struggling, but he doesn’t connect his own actions with the pain, nor is he willing to fix it, because he cares more about his agenda than the pain he is causing.

    I would honestly rather have somebody who sees how policy effects people than have them feeling my pain.

    Comment by Just Me — November 11, 2012 @ 12:27 pm - November 11, 2012

  18. “But I think everyone who is not a doctrinaire liberal can be made to think about the future.”

    EG, according to last Tuesday, just over half the country can’t think, period.

    They’re just like my M-I-L, who is a stereotypical “liberal”. Everything is decided on emotion – no thought required.

    Comment by alanstorm — November 11, 2012 @ 1:44 pm - November 11, 2012

  19. How stupid are these people? What cave do they have to be living in to believe that Obama cares about them in any way, shape, or form other than as a potential voting block to exploit?

    Comment by Kurt — November 11, 2012 @ 2:32 pm - November 11, 2012

  20. Do not the demographics make it pretty clear that the Republicans are not going to be serious Presidential contenders anymore? What possible amount of diddling with either The Message or the image of The Candidate has any hope of succeeding in face of solid and massive Democrat support by its traditional plantation inmates –Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews and Muslims, gays, single women, and the media–and less than 60% support from Whites, who constitute 90% (!!) of Republican voters?

    Seems to me the GOP is RIP.

    Comment by EssEm — November 11, 2012 @ 5:48 pm - November 11, 2012

  21. The more relevant question would be: “What has Mitt Romney done to demonstrate leadership?” The man’s follow the political wind like a weather vane. He was a proud moderate progressive governor until the time came to announce that he’d been a severely conservative governor.

    The man is the consummate follower, and it’s a bit reason he lost.

    Comment by Mike R. — November 12, 2012 @ 10:32 pm - November 12, 2012

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