The Values Voter Summit is in full swing tomorrow. I will be at the event in Washington, DC.
This ill-timed conference puts Mitt Romney’s campaign in a precarious situation. Bill Clinton advised the Obama campaign not to portray Romney as a flip-flopper, but to instead link him to the extreme right. The Values Voter Summit plays directly into this strategy by forcing the Romney campaign to defend controversial positions that might alarm swing voters.
A few potential pitfalls for Romney:
• Speakers, such as Mike Huckabee, might use their platform to endorse or defend Todd Akin (R-MO), potentially widening the gender gap
• Leading social conservatives might compound Romney’s foreign policy problems by proclaiming that Obama apologized for America, extending the life of this story
• The potential for overt gay bashing might turn off moderate voters in swing states
• There is always the potential for Mormon bashing, forcing the Romney campaign to discuss the candidate’s religious beliefs
• We might even see a few speakers use this week’s attacks on US embassies in the Middle East as an opportunity to insult Muslims, potentially inflaming the situation
If I was working on the Romney campaign, I’d be very nervous.