I won’t feign joy that we have the presumed-nominee that we have, but I won’t feign despair, either. Romney is no one’s ideal candidate, but neither is he the doomed mumbling sclerotic hayride of fail that John McCain was. And I think he has a good few advantages going into this election:
- He Has a Plan. And if you scroll over to his web site, you can drill down that plan to exhausting detail. Now, it may not be a good plan. It may not be a plan your average voter will even know or want to know much about. But he has one, and it’s more than just a bunch of vague numbers that he won’t reveal until after the election. He’s got specific things he wants to repeal, and specific things to enact. All of which stands from the highest tower and screams “COMPETENCE.” Voters will respond to that.
- He Won His Nomination the Hard Way. No one can argue that Romney didn’t earn it. Unlike McCain, who had the thing sealed up by Christmas and then sat on his ass, Mitt’s been campaigning nonstop for months. He’s fought off every Not-Mitt, each of them stronger than the last. He’s not tanned and rested, he’s trained and toughened.
- He’s Kind of a Dork. SNL may well have done Romney a favor by caricaturing him as a white-bread, unhip dweeb. Because all of those things add up to “inoffensive,” and make it harder for the Democrats to make the devil’s horns stick to him. Which is why they’re coming out of the gate with cheap shots about Anne Romney rather than anything substantive. What else are they going to talk about? The only cudgel that they have against him is the riposte about Romneycare, and the Supreme Court might very well take that issue away.
- He’s Running Against Barack Obama. Not the 2008 Obama, who could promise to be all things to all people; the 2012 Obama who has a record that Romney has been running against from the beginning. The Obama of the Stimulus. The Obama of the Bailouts. The Obama of Fast and Furious. Trillion-Dollar-Deficit Obama, who’s reelection numbers are weaker than George Bush’s or Ronald Reagan’s ever were.
So while I really wish we’d gotten a Tea Party candidate, the Rockefellerite we have can still win. And at this point, I’ll take that.