A lot is riding on Wednesday night. That’s when President Barack Obama and the Republican nominee Mitt Romney meet each other for the first time to debate the issues the country faces. It’s a desperate time for Mr. Romney. His poll numbers have been tanking significantly ever since the video of him telling an exclusive group of high dollar donors that if he was President it would not be his job to care about nearly half the country. The Obama campaign has been painting Mr. Romney as a plutocrat out of touch with the average American joe. Mr. Romney, whether intentionally or not, has picked up that paint brush and has slathered the colors of a plutocrat on himself. He has proven himself to be his own worst enemy.
The Republican National Convention failed to give Mr. Romney anything remotely resembling a poll bounce. In most polls there were no signs of any improvement in his appeal when he announced his pick of conservative Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate. He tried to make a big deal out of the consulate attacks on September 11th, the eleventh anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, but that quick to criticize maneuver actually cost him a lot more points than he could have ever gained. His foray onto the international scene that started with his trip to England for the summer Olympics didn’t go very well. And let’s not forget, that before the Republican Party settled on Mr. Romney they gave just about every other contender for the conservative nominee a shot at being their top choice. Mr. Romney was their last resort.
At last check, Mr. Romney’s poll numbers are as much as eight points behind Mr. Obama’s and are in a state of freefall. And so a lot is riding on Mr. Romney’s wealthy but narrow shoulders. He needs to have a particularly stellar performance. His answers to questions have to be clear and express precisely his vision for America and the specific steps he would take if he is so lucky as to become President. The problem is his vision is built on policies and ideas that don’t really have an appeal for the masses.
Mr. Romney’s vision for his America as President is full of holes that look like they will only exacerbate our fiscal and political woes. It honestly looks like he wants to take us back to the very policies that have played a big part in getting us into the mess we’re in now. Twelve years ago America enjoyed a round of tax cuts from the Bush Jr. administration that created a giant chasm in the nation’s budget and created the largest deficits we’ve ever seen. And it looks like Mr. Romney wants to go right back there.
Mr. Romney says he wants to give tax cuts but promises he will reduce tax deductions to create a revenue neutral change in tax policy that promises to give entrepreneurs the incentives to create or expand businesses. Mr. Romney can always give specifics when it comes time to talking about how he wants to give everybody a twenty percent tax cut on current rates. But when asked what deductions he’ll cut in order to pay for the cuts, his answers are vague if he bothers to answer at all. In one interview he said he plans to cut federal funding for National Public Radio. That’ll pay for about ten million of the trillions of dollars his tax cuts will create. Does that not sound familiar?
As Mr. Romney himself explained behind closed doors where he was probably being his most honest self without the mask he wears to enhance his appeal to the wider voting population, his vision isn’t really meant for everyone but only for the half of the American population he deems worthy. It’s very similar to the Bush years where rich people got tax cuts while poor people drowned in New Orleans. It looked like the President didn’t feel it was his job to care for people who were dependent on government. Behind closed doors Mr. Romney says he wants to go back to that arrangement.
And that’s the problem with Mr. Romney as the first debate approaches. His policies are really not designed for or appeal to a large mass of the voting public. And without a mass appeal his policies doesn’t give him any advantage against the President. And without possessing a policy that is a clear advantage against the President, there is little chance that Mr. Romney will bring an A game performance that will help him win the first debate, the second debate, or any debate thereafter. With all of that said it really doesn’t look like Mr. Romney has any hope in hell of beating Mr. Obama in the Wednesday debate and therefore has little chance of turning his campaign around.
Then again stranger things have happened. Barack Obama himself didn’t look very Presidential when he headed into those debates with front runner Hillary Clinton four years ago. Sometimes things have a way of winding up with crazy unexpected results out of the blue. Some people might like the sound of tax cuts for the wealthy that are unpaid for and will create even bigger deficits. It worked for George Bush Jr. People in this country are crazy enough it might work for Mr. Romney as well.