Monday, September 03, 2012

Romney's bigest liability is,....Romney

Behind the New Yorker paywall, James Surowiecki explains how the Romney campaign is struggling because they have been forced to run on Mitt Romney.
Romney hasn't been able to convince people that the weak economy is Obama's fault. ... [A] majority of voters still blame George W. Bush ... Romney's strategy was predicated on the idea that, as long as he appeared competent, all he had to do to win was be the not-Obama. But the inability to pin the weak economy on Obama has forced Romney to make a case for himself ... And this has proved more difficult than anticipated. Though Romney is arguably the most successful businessman ever to run for President , his career at Bain Capital does not inspire faith in him as a job creator, since private equity has always been more about efficiency and financial engineering than about creating jobs. ...

Romney's specific policies haven't helped him much, either, partly because his economic speeches have been light on detail, and partly because his party's ideology limits the kinds of solutions he can offer ... And, while even a conservative could go after the Federal Reserve for doing too little to boost economic growth, Romney has made exactly the opposite argument. He has said that he would replace Ben Bernanke with someone who would support a 'strong dollar'-which means tighter monetary policy, fewer exports, and fewer jobs. ...

The economy isn't ... enough of a winning issue to allow him to run the kind of successful clarifying campaign that Reagan and Clinton ran. This may help explain why ... Romney and his surrogates have abandoned their single-minded economic focus and begun attacking Obama on issues like welfare reform [and] cuts to Medicare.

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