With the nomination his and the party faithful behind him, Mitt Romney now will present what should be a potent case for a Romney-Ryan administration to the Republican National Convention.
Of course, what really matters is what voters in swing states make of him and his potential as a president.
Polls show a roomy opening for the GOP as fears grow about the economy’s failure to grow and the government’s ability to cover its debts and obligations.
Four years after Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination by declaring that “our government should work for us, not against us,” a depressingly high number of Americans can’t find work themselves. Unemployment rates rose in July in 44 states, including Kansas, and the jobless rate stands at 8.3 percent nationally. The lowest unemployment rate during the Obama administration, 7.8 percent, dates from the month he took office.
If he won re-election, Obama would be the first incumbent president since Franklin Roosevelt to do so when unemployment was more than 7.2 percent. That seems an unlikely feat, even for a politician known for defying odds.
But polling continues to find the electorate resistant to Romney, despite having seen the former Massachusetts governor and practicing capitalist running for president for much of the past five years. On Wednesday the Real Clear Politics average of national polls found Obama with a tiny lead, and in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll he was more trusted than Romney to handle non-fiscal matters such as social issues, women’s issues, international affairs and education.
In his acceptance speech, Romney would help his candidacy by expanding on his plans for the economy, taxes, health care and entitlement reform.
He can build on the appealing portrait sketched out Tuesday night by his wife, Ann, of a family man with strong faith and values and a “history of success” – “the man America needs,” she said.
He also will need to cut through the divisive muck of this campaign and try to convince voters that he has their interests at heart, not just those of the fabulously wealthy donors who are fueling his campaign and amplifying his message via super political action committees.
“From my first day in office, my No. 1 job will be to see that America once again is No. 1 in job creation,” Romney said as he formally launched his latest campaign in June 2011.
Nearly 15 months later, the GOP candidacy now in hand, that stated approach to the job remains Romney’s surest path to becoming the nation’s 45th president.
For the editorial board, Rhonda Holman