Originally Published: 21 June, 2012.
For Romney’s Campaign the focus is on Romney’s business role. They want to paint Romney as a man who understands how business works. This appeals to the classic Republican base of private enterprise. The Romney Campaign is drawing a dividing line by creating the image of Romney as a man who understands how business, and ‘the real world’ works, and Obama, as the career politician in Washington.
The Romney Campaign is doing all it can NOT to focus on Romney’s time as Governor of Massachusetts as this is seen as being a liability. Romney does not want to be associated with Massachusetts, a very progressive state. Significantly his time as Governor of Massachusetts splits Republicans. This weakness should be exploited by Obama’s Campaign.
In light of the allegations of Romney’s Swiss bank account, Obama will likely turn his anger on to the bankers once more à la FDR. Going all hell blazing against the banks should prove to be a good tactic for Obama who led against McCain since the day Lehman Brothers went bust.
However the main concerns for voters now are the economy and jobs and the deficit. The Left failed to win the argument on the deficit so voters who view that as their main concern will likely vote for Romney. Obama has the Herculean task of trying to convince voters that he is not to blame for the state of the economy and the lack of jobs. After all as Harry Truman said, ‘the buck stops here’. Democrats have been pushing the view that the economy is getting better. This tactic will not work because on the ground level people do not feel the economy getting any better.
Obama also has the difficulty of negotiating his 2008 claim of being the candidate of Change with now having been President. Inspiring people with the hope of a better tomorrow has long been a successful campaign technique from FDR to Reagan’s ‘Morning in America’ to Barack Obama’s ‘Hope and Change’ in 2008. However will people buy into the same thing twice? Obama’s future rests upon the economy, if the economy gets worse or there’s another Euro Crisis his chances would be disastrous.
Significantly in May Obama was beaten by Romney in the fundraising stakes for the first time in this campaign. Romney raised $76 million in May to Obama’s $60 million. As Bob Dylan said, ‘money doesn’t talk, it swears’.
All is not lost for Obama. Romney lacks charisma and has not offered his own vision of America, an alternative to Obama’s America, which all successful candidates need to do. Electing Mitt Romney now would be like electing Rockefeller during the Great Depression. I just don’t see it happening.