In my lifetime Democrats have had three presidential nominees from Massachusetts. Since JFK, the experience has been uniformly painful. This year the shoe is on the other foot. Republicans are finding out the hard way that Massachusetts nominees tend to have messaging problems.
To illustrate, here are Alabama Romney supporters crawling way out on the "ObamaRomneyCare is a tax" limb, trying to help their nominee:
AL-GOP Chairman Shady Armistead: "Governor Romney has made it clear that the primary objective on his first day as President will be to fully repeal this tax and start over. The stakes have never been higher for a general election. It is now up to the American people to ensure the repeal of this tax by electing Mitt Romney as our next President on November 6th."
Attorney General Luther Strange: "The individual mandate was sold to the American people as a penalty when it was proposed, but is now ruled constitutional as a tax, the very thing the Obama Administration and Congress insisted it was not. Now it is up to a new congress and new president to repeal the act."
Former (and probably future) Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore: "When the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court says that government may 'tax' individuals for health care, what is next--mandated life, home, and auto insurance? **
State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh: "Today’s Supreme Court ruling confirms that Obamacare is in fact one of the biggest tax increases in our nation’s history."
US Senator Richard Shelby: "We must now redouble our efforts to repeal this job-killing tax hike and egregious government intrusion into private health care decisions."
State House Speaker Mike Hubbard: "This November Alabama voters will have a chance to voice their opposition to this massive expansion of government loud and clear ... I encourage all Alabamians who resent this job-killing tax to go to the polls and make their voice heard.”
They all played the tax card.ObamaRomneyCare is a tax. .... Vote for Republicans in November to get rid of this tax. .... Tax, tax, tax, tax!!!
At least here in the South, Republicans are convinced the scary "T" word is the path to victory lane. So after all these Romney supporters crawled way out on that whippy little "it's a tax!!!" limb ... a top Romney advisor (yes, the Etch-A-Sketch guy) cuts it off. Yes, Romney and his top advisors now say the individual mandate in ObamaRomneyCare is not a tax. Watch.
ERIC FEHRNSTROM (TOP ROMNEY AIDE): The governor disagreed with the court. He agreed with the dissent that was written by Justice Scalia which very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax.
TODD: So ... I think we're talking around each other. The governor does not believe the mandate is a tax, that's what you're saying?
FEHRNSTROM: The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the court's ruling that the mandate was a tax.
TODD: But he agrees with the president that it is not, that you shouldn't call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a fine?
FEHRNSTROM: That's correct.
Oopsie! Sorry Alabama GOPers. You just can't help some people, especially former Massachusetts governors who are running for president.
This election is going to be the most fun Democrats have had since 1992.