Monday, July 09, 2012

Romney: Neither character nor candor nor concrete proposals

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I think Andrew Sullivan's quite right here: 

We're entering that blissful period when people not that interested in politics -- the sane majority -- look up and examine what's on offer. I suspect they are not as dumb as the Romney campaign seems to assume they are; and not as happy as the Obama campaign would like them to be. Candor and concrete proposals and character are the three things people are looking for. Romney has none of them. Obama has all three but a still-shitty economy obscuring all of it. Hence Romney's fixation on Obama's core weakness, and Obama's constant interruption of a referendum campaign with new proposals and initiatives -- this time extending Bush's tax cuts for those earning under $250,000 for one more year. I suspect this is a pattern that will hold for a while. Unless events interrupt them. 

Yes, the great uncertainty lies in those "events" -- a meltdown in Europe, a terrorist attack, etc.

Generally, though, Obama is weathering the attacks on his economic record in part because people rightly continue to blame Bush instead, in part because Romney hasn't offered a credible, viable alternative, and in part because things could be a hell of a lot worse -- and would be a lot worse had Obama not pulled the economy back from the edge of the abyss.

And the problem for Romney is that the more people get to know him and his nebulous policy agenda, the less they like him and it. This is why he hasn't been candid and hasn't offered concrete proposals, and he lacks the character to make up for it.

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