Giuliani and Romney: Trust Deficit

Scot Lehigh has some remarkable fun with the three front runners in this rather well written op ed piece:

On the stump, the Mittster shines like a diamond . . . ah, make that a cubic zirconia. Why, if one hadn’t seen him run for the US Senate and Bay State governor as a Bill Weld Republican, he might seem both convincing and sincere in his recently adopted role as Reagan conservative.

He literally changed his political colors as soon as he announced.  Its like he never ran for office in Massachusetts (emphasis mine).

What’s more, voters I talked to didn’t particularly care that Romney has done some serious flip-flopping.

“Don’t they all?” said Loraine Battey of Hudson, who is undecided. “They say what people want to hear.”

“They all lie,” added Fred Taylor, a Hudson resident and Romney backer.

That last sentence is gold.  If I was working on a competing GOP campaign, that quote would be everywhere Romney was.  Perhaps under a heading like “Trust”.

Certainly Giuliani’s success in deworming the Big Apple compares favorably with what Romney accomplished in his single term as Massachusetts CEO.

In other words, something, anything, is better than a closed mouthed nothing.  Romney was the lame duck CEO governor.  He was all about secrecy.

“Even people who like the president are tired of his style,” says one senior Romney adviser.

The dig was aimed at Rudy, but it does more than graze Mr Romney, the great corporate communicator.  Silent Bob would reveal more at a press conference.  At least he has facial expressions other than “invest” and “chin jut”.

For its part, the Romney campaign doubts that, after a president as polarizing as George W. Bush, Republicans will want a nominee as combative as Giuliani.

“Even people who like the president are tired of his style,” says one senior Romney adviser. “They are looking for somebody who is going to be more of a consensus builder and less abrasive.”

The thing is Bush ran as a consensus builder in 2000.  Look how long that lasted.  Does anyone trust any Republican to act in a genuinely bipartisan manner after Bush?

Further, the Romney camp thinks the indictment of close Giuliani associate Bernard Kerik will prove a heavy burden for a candidate who has made electability his campaign calling card.

This makes a great deal of sense.  Its hard to run as tough on crime when you are that close to it.  Who would trust that?

Both Giuliani and Romney have a huge trust problem.  For their die hard supporters, this isn’t an issue.  For the rest of the voting public it may well prove insurmountable.