What's a presidential candidate to do when his own party is calling on him to articulate some actual positions? That's the conundrum Mitt Romney is facing: prominent voices in the Republican base from Rush Limbaugh to former GOP leader Trent Lott are clamoring for him to stop being vague and start being substantive.
On Tuesday's The Ed Show, GOP strategist and MSNBC contributor Susan Del Percio said "Romney is sending a mixed message out there" with his hedging on issues like health care. That hedging seemingly contributed further to conservative frustration.
Salon's Joan Walsh said Romney's decision to pick conservative darling Paul Ryan as his running mate has not helped him develop a firmer platform, because the campaign chose to "muzzle" the vice presidential candidate. "Ryan hasn't chosen to stand for anything," said Walsh.
Del Percio hopes the campaign will serve as a lesson to Republican leaders. Whether "Romney wins or not ... this becomes a campaign where we have to talk about governance, and compromise, and getting things done," she said.
Still, the GOP consultant doesn't think the next two months will be a walk in the park for the Obama campaign. The base is "very energized," not demoralized, she said, and it's "going to be a very close election."