Peggy Noonan: GOP consulting class ‘not in touch’ with the party’s base or America at large

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan criticized Republican consultants and their inability to connect with the conservative base on Sunday’s “Face the Nation” on CBS, while Dan Balz of The Washington Post previewed his new book, “Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America.”

Noonan said there was one particular aspect of Balz’s book was interesting — how campaigns attempted to use “the American psyche” for electoral gain.

“[Mitt Romney] had a lot of problems going in,” Noonan said. “There were many vulnerabilities he presented to the Democrats. He was probably — I would say, certainly the best of what was in 2012 a weak Republican field. So he became in a way the inevitable nominee. Can I say something about Dan’s book? One of the things that is very special about it is that it is not only about what happened. It’s about how people think. There’s a part where Dan talks about the Obama campaign, not just as a political operation but in a way a sociological operation. That was so fascinating to me, how deeply they drilled into — or attempted to drill into the American psyche. That’s the kind of stuff that is going to change national political — national presidential politics, I think.”

According to Noonan, the Republican establishment’s weak consulting class failed to stay in touch with both its base and the American people.

“Can I say one of the problems is that the establishment, if you will, of the Republican Party, including, say, its consulting class nationally and its presidential candidates — what they’re trying to do is hit the target of what they imagine in their imaginations is the feelings and impulses of the base. They’re not good at that anymore,” Noonan said. “They’re not in touch with the ground in America anymore in a way that they used to be. And that’s part of the problem. They’re not aiming at a specific target. They’re aiming at a target they can’t fully see.”

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