When the Republican primary voters decided to nominate Mitt Romney to be their presidential nominee, they had to have known they were largely ceding the health care issue. They had to have figured that the Supreme Court would do the dirty work. If not, the people that really hate the Affordable Care Act would pull the lever for the Republican candidate anyway.
This semantic difference between “tax” and “mandate” has become yet another largely ridiculous sideshow in yet another “most important election in our lifetime.” Call it a mandate or a tax. It doesn’t matter. Mitt Romney has very little credibility on the issue either way. If the Republican primary electorate cared about credibility on health care, they would have found someone who never supported such a mandate/tax at any level.
Obama’s Bain attacks are working and the economy is improving. It leads one to wonder exactly what the Romney campaign’s grand plan was. Did they expect the Supreme Court to strike down the law and for the economy to double dip? Was there no contingency? If you want to be President of the United States, you (or at least your core team) should have some war-gaming skills.
The Wall Street Journal called out the Romney campaign for not offering anything besides a message that says “Obama isn’t working.” Romney has offered a coherent, 59-point plan. It reads like the greatest hits of American Republicanism: repeal Obamacare, regulatory reform, tax cuts, and labor reform. The plan is comprehensive and offers a stark contrast to what Obama is proposing which is, well, nothing. There is, however, no overarching and inspiring theme or message. It feels like a business proposal. Where’s the one- or two- word phrase? How can he appeal to a 140-character electorate with a 59-point plan?
While Team Obama does have some foreign policy and liberal Holy Grail legislative accomplishments to hang its hat on, they offer no plan for the future. What will he do with his next four years? He has his one-word slogan, “Forward”, but no discernible legislative agenda. Will he push cap-and-trade, end the drug war, and ban sodas/smoking? If so, tell us.
We have one candidate with a Twitter message without the long-form prose to back it up. We have another with the Powerpoint presentation but no elevator speech. No wonder the electorate is ambivalent.