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Wallace vs. Noonan: Can't the Republicans Play This Game? Weblogging


In an interview with POLITICO today, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace questioned Peggy Noonan's "conservative bona fides," following her recent editorials criticizing of Mitt Romney's campaign.

Peggy Noonan has bashed George W. Bush, based Mitt Romney, wasn't crazy about McCain. So, [her] conservative bona fides I'm not sure I take too seriously…. [Columnists] like Peggy Noonan, sometimes they're New York City's idea of conservatives."

Wallace's remarks come on the same day that Romney surrogate and former Gov. John Sununu criticized Noonan, a Wall Street Journal columnist, for her attacks on Romney, telling MSNBC: "I wouldn't hire Peggy Noonan to run a campaign."

Well, I wouldn't hire John Sununu to be a surrogate either. And whatever resources Niall Ferguson committed to get John Sununu to defend his fraudulent misquotations of CBO were resources wasted:

And the MDL strikes back:

In her column today, Noonan doubled-down on criticisms she made earlier in the week: "This week I called [the Romney campaign] incompetent, but only because I was being polite," she wrote. "I really meant 'rolling calamity'".

And she calls for James Baker III to come back to run the Romney campaign for the next six weeks:

Romney Needs a New CEO: [V]eteran Republican pollster… Steve Lombardo…. "The pendulum has swung toward Obama." Mitt Romney has "a damaged political persona."…. 1. Mr. Romney came out of the primaries "a damaged and flawed candidate"… elitist, rich, out of touch… Newt Gingrich hurt too, with his attacks on Bain. 2. The Democrats defined Mr. Romney "before he had a chance to define himself." His campaign failed in "not doing a substantial positive media buy to explain who Mitt Romney is and what kind of president he might be." 3. "Perceptions of the economy are improving."… 5. "The president had a strong convention and Romney a weak one."… 6. Team Romney has been "reactive"…. 7. The "47%" comment didn't help, but Mr. Romney's Libya statement was a critical moment. Team Romney did not know "the most basic political tenet of a foreign crisis: when there is an international incident in which America is attacked, voters in this country will (at least in the short term) rally around the flag and the President. Always. It is stunning that Team Romney failed to recognize this."…

The Romney campaign has to get turned around. This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant "rolling calamity."… There was a perhaps pessimistic assumption that no one in Boston would be open to advice. A veteran of a previous Romney campaign who supports the governor and admires him… said the candidate's problem is… a tin ear….

Some, unbidden, brought up the name James A. Baker III, who ran Ronald Reagan's campaign in 1984 (megalandslide—those were the days) and George H.W. Bush's in 1988 (landslide.)… This was a man who could run a campaign…. Mr. Baker… ran things that are by nature chaotic and messy… with wisdom, focus, efficiency, determination and discipline…. Mr. Baker's central insight: The candidate can't run the show. He can't be the CEO of the campaign and be the candidate…. The candidate cannot oversee strategy, statements, speechwriting, ads…. He has to learn to trust others—many others…. He delegated, and only the gifted were welcome: Bob Teeter, Dick Darman, Roger Ailes, Marlin Fitzwater. He didn't like hacks, he didn't get their point, and he knew one when he saw one…