Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Voters Deserve From Romney

Seven weeks.

Seven weeks from today, if Mitt Romney wins the presidency of the United States, it won't be because he's an eloquent orator, will it?

He won't have won because he empathizes with Middle America, either.

He won't have won because his campaign was a well-oiled machine of team players and fastidious message-sticking.

Nor will he have won because his religious beliefs are widely and confidently embraced outside of the insular cult to which he belongs.

He won't have won because conservatives across the political landscape trust him, are enamored by him, believe he's supremely qualified to serve as president, or think he's truly worth all of the money they've lavished on his campaign.

He won't have won because he's built his financial empire without getting a gigantic kick-start in his career from his well-connected father, a former governor himself and auto industry CEO.

He won't have won because Clint Eastwood gave a personally-heartfelt endorsement of him at the Republican National Convention.

He won't have won because he refused to play the class warfare card.

He won't have won because whether speaking in public or private, fact checkers found few problems with the statistics he used.

He won't have won because he offered American voters a convincing alternative to Obamacare from his own experience as governor of Taxachusetts - I mean, Massachusetts.

He won't have won because his pro-life credentials passed close scrutiny after it was learned Bain Capital may have owned a company that, among other things, earned money by disposing of aborted fetuses.

He won't have won because he stated factual problems with the Middle East peace process - or lack of a process - with diplomatic tact.

If Mitt Romney wins in seven weeks, it will be because a relatively tiny fraction of America's voters managed to overcome everything that appears to be wrong about him, and decide he's less of a threat to America's future than President Obama.

Is this a great country or what?

With the exception of a few evangelical blacks who have grown disenchanted with the President over his stance on abortion and gay marriage, Obama's supporters see nothing in Mitt worth changing their votes over.  And with the exception of a few Muslims who might have ordinarily sided with Romney for his pro-business stance and overall social conservatism, but who now bristle over his comments about Iran and the Palestinians, people who usually vote Republican see nothing in Romney that scares them more than what they see in Obama.

That leaves the 11% or so of the electorate considered to be swing voters to break the stalemate, and even within this slice of wait-and-see Americana, a Pew Research Center Values Study found a fairly even split when it comes to embracing or refuting the Republican worldview.

How many voters in this statistically minuscule cohort will swing the balance to either Romney or Obama?

If it's true that the people of a republic elect the leaders they deserve, Romney has seven weeks remaining to prove we haven't gotten what we've deserved from Obama.

If he thinks his campaign so far has helped him in that regard, however, he may get what he deserves seven weeks from today.

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