Now that the Republican nomination is all but secured, I think it’s interesting to look back and see how Romney did it.
An article published recently at The Hill caught my eye. The title was “Maybe Mitt Romney is Stronger Than We Think” and it then listed some of the enormous obstacles Romney had to overcome to get the nomination.
Some of Romney’s obstacles to the nomination included:
1) Romneycare versus Obamacare debate
2) Romney’s a member of a religious minority - Mormon.
3) Not a Tea Party favorite
4) He is a Northeasterner in a party dominated by the South
5) Fox News was consistently harsh to Romney
6) The Wall Street Journal editorial board was often critical
7) Some conservative pundits (who endorsed him last time) did not endorse him this time
8. Effectively pro-choice during his early political years
Romney has to be feeling pretty good these days when he analyzes all the obstacles he has overcome. All of these groups are often the loudest voices in the conservative movement today. It is a real testament to the strength of Romney’s appeal that he was able to secure his party’s nomination.
So just how did Romney do it? I believe that Romney won the nomination not by appealing to the loudest voices within his party, but by winning over the “silent majority.” The phrase “silent majority” has been used in the political campaigns of Ronald Reagan during the 1970s and 1980s, the Republican Revolution in the 1994 elections and during the Nixon era. Romney tapped into that same group during this election.
The silent majority is not easy to define because, by definition, they don’t express their views publicly, but they are the dominant force in American politics. The silent majority are a very diverse group whose views don’t align completely to one side’s point of view. Their views can be complex and nuanced, or they may simply want to live a life with as few restrictions from outside sources as possible. I believe they are a very pragmatic group who is more concerned with finding solutions to America’s problems than winning a political fight between Republicans and Democrats.
By focusing on the economy and leadership competency, Romney was able to capture the silent majority. Romney’s strengths far outweighed the obstacles placed in his path.
Attributes that helped Romney capture the silent majority:
1) Proven leadership success in many areas (Olympics, Business, Government)
2) Business expertise during a time of economic upheaval
3) A personal history that shows he knows how to create jobs
4) A person who has shown skill in solving tough problems
5) A caring father and family man
7) Methodical, hard working and disciplined preparation
8. Calm, presidential demeanor under pressure
The silent majority understand that with Mitt Romney, we have a candidate who is uniquely qualified to address America’s dire economic problems. Who better to lead the country toward a turnaround than a guy who made his living as a turnaround artist working with struggling businesses? While there are still obstacles in Romney’s way, and there will undoubtedly be ups and downs in the months ahead, the silent majority will, as always, have the final say.