Mitt Romney spoke too “condescendingly and dismissively” about gifts, but communication is one of a politician’s job skills. Romney’s transactional framing of the political game was just revealing, in the most efficient way the media should expose such honesty. Hispanics and Asians – in all their diversity that no Rove or Axelrod seems to appreciate – are poised to mature as individual voters once assimilate into the broader economy and stop fixating on their miserable immigration experiences.
But, both Robert A. George and Adam Serwer miss the structural argument. The electoral college emphasizes certain swing states, like Ohio, and constituencies within those few regions. Immigration was an issue, because Romney made it one. But, in a future election, the demographics of those swing districts could change, and maybe Chinese-Americans will be shopping for a congressperson or executive. The Obama campaign used turnout, to defeat Romney’s wholesale seduction by white conservatives. In 2016 or 2020, Republicans might need to nominate a candidate that understands the dark political arts. Thinking of the fallout from Romney’s gaffe as a permanent expression of voters’ preferences sets up both parties for electoral failure.