The Re-Branding of Romney
There’s a certain set of traits we’ve “branded” Mitt Romney with over the last couple of months, and they’re well-known even to the detached political observer. You may have heard some of them: He’s robotic. He’s a capitalist. He’s a one percent-er. He’s a conservative Mormon. The list goes on and is filled with nonsense labeling, however, the most important branding of all does eventually arise: Romney is inauthentic.
In an age in which everything is fact-checked, scores of datum are available at any second and the world writes/tweets about your every move, authenticity is the one trait that universally demands respect. Romney didn’t have a chance at rebranding himself, to become the authentic guy in the race, until he selected Paul Ryan as his VP.
According to branding expert Dorie Clark in an article for the Harvard Business Review, “The VP choice is a powerful symbol for any campaign.” Now we’ve refuted that premise on Daily Download before, but in the case of Ryan, it might be true; he might actually be able to re-brand Romney.
Like Clark says, “When your brand is in doubt, it pays to play to your strengths.” Romney’s strengths, or at least his predominant concerns, have to do with the National Budget and the economy. Ryan has been candid about his economic plan and is a committed policy guy. Playing to strengths, it seems.
It’s also true that Ryan is just very authentic. He doesn’t shy away from the fact that he’s a bit of an intellectual when it comes to budget-making, and as Clark points out, he has a conservative voting record on par with Michelle Bachman’s. He is fully in the Republican’s camp, that is to say.
So Romney needed to prove to America that he is authentic and a firm conservative. Looks like Paul Ryan came at the right time.
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