Sunday, July 15, 2012
Glen Allen, Virginia, Obama's campaign rally in downpour, Saturday 14.
The winding road ahead for the GOP is that Mitt Romney’s TV performances are loopily unconvincing, as if he finds the process unserious, childish, even tedious. It is a peculiar event to sit in a room under lights and talk to the blank box of the camera; however it is a learned skill and can be mastered (Bill Clinton, Barack Obama). Romney’s clumsiness around a camera – and he’s not that much sharper on radio – is not an immediate obstacle to the campaign, because the decision in November is not about Romney even a little. This and that YouTubed noise about Bain, the SEC, capitalism – and the pretended excitement of the iron-sided Romney demanding an apology for whatever, huff, huff, huff -- all that melodrama of campaign gotcha, none of it signifies more than a news cycle. The GDP spiral downward is taking down what is left of the electorate’s trust in POTUS Obama. The last weeks of the campaign, from Labor Day to Halloween, promise a grinding examination of the 48 months of half-hearted, slab-sided, much-discredited Keynesianism with ladles of political correct sauce and progressive lemonade. No use to review the mistakes. The stark facts of the 2Q slowdown will be followed by a 3Q swoon. It is global, so the Obama administration can argue, as it has, that Europe or Asia or bad luck or banks too big to fail are at fault. Sure. There is no patience left for the Obama yarn-spinning. It is long past debating. The GOP did not defeat Mr. Smith Goes to the White House. It was GDP that killed the dream. The facts of November will not, it is useful to note now, improve Mr. Romney on television or YouTube. We are hiring Romney to turn-around the economy; we are not looking for inspiration, entertainment, self-righteousness, passion or even warmth. Do the job, supervise the Cabinet and the departments, make the deals with Congress, get the ship moving again. It will be a long two years of Romney struggling on stage to get to the midterms of 2014.