Saturday, July 28, 2012

Can Romney afford to lose the debates?

As July winds down Romney still doesn’t want to run on his record as governor of Massachusetts. And, Romneycare isn’t his only problem left over from that four-year period (2003-07), which was his only experience in elected office.

Now Romney’s Bain Capital experience isn’t working for him, either. So, he has to resort to doubletalk when either aspect of his background is brought up. More than anything else, his plans look like he would return to Bush’s policies, but Romney can‘t really say that, either.

So, in the dog days of summer all Romney has going for him is demonizing Obama. Which means he has to lie down and snuggle with some nasty, flea-bitten dogs. He has to court all the votes that might stem from hating Obama for various reasons, few of which can be mentioned for the record.

And, that’s too bad, because this country would be well served by a honest debate over what government’s future role ought to be in stimulating job growth and regulating Wall Street. The voters would be better off if they could hear Romney and Obama articulate the real differences between them, to do with foreign policy and keeping the nation safe.

Instead, from Romney’s campaign we get mischievously edited videos and lots of faux righteous indignation.

So, maybe the only chance we will have to really measure the two candidates, evaluate their proposals and their differences -- sans spin -- will be during the three scheduled presidential debates in the fall.

Then I think about how bad Romney was at presenting his case in the series of debates with his fellow Republican hopefuls. Remember how many Republicans were attracted to the wacky campaigns of Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Perry and so forth, because they didn’t like the Romney they were watching on live television? And, they couldn’t see him besting Obama on a debate stage.

All of which suggests to me that for Romney to have a chance of winning in November he has to invent a reason to pull out of the debates in October.

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