Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

October 6, 2012

End of the referendum

If you had to pinpoint the exact moment when Mitt Romney's strategy to make the election largely a referendum on President Barack Obama collapsed, about 10:56 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, would be as good a guess as any.

That's when, roughly 20 minutes into his sprawling oration at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., former President Bill Clinton said that no president - not even the 42nd - could have done a better job fixing the economy than Obama, given the problems the incumbent inherited.

The riff was typically self-regarding. Yet it memorably - and for some voters, persuasively - stated the case for cutting the president slack for his economic stewardship in trying circumstances.

The Big Dog was pushing on something of an open door. Obama has failed, but for a majority of voters he hasn't failed enough to make it self-evident that he should go. The Romney campaign spent its convention answering the question: Is it OK to fire Obama if he's such a fine fellow? When the real question is: Can Romney do any better?

Indeed, the two conventions - so far, the pivot of the election - were encapsulated in their two signature performances. On one hand, there was Clint Eastwood's rambling, improvised 10-minute routine saying that it's OK to cashier Obama. On the other, there was Clinton's (at times rambling and improvised) 50-minute speech detailing why Romney's program is wrong for the country. Eastwood could have given his speech at amateur night at a comedy club; Clinton could have given his at a policy luncheon at the Brookings Institution.

There's been nothing to match it for the Republicans, which is one reason that Romney is now tied with Obama on the economy in many recent polls. Election Day is nearly six weeks away, and there's still a sense that the Romney campaign has not yet - although it is moving this way - fully begun to make its case on substance.

Text Only
Commentary
  • Benefits of hiking minimum wage are just an illusion |I don’t know anyone averse to making more money. Sure, I have friends who demonstrate, through words and actions, that money is not the most important thing in their lives. But I haven’t seen one of them turn down a raise. I wouldn’t, either. (That'

    March 3, 2014

  • Benefits of hiking minimum wage are just an illusion |I don’t know anyone averse to making more money. Sure, I have friends who demonstrate, through words and actions, that money is not the most important thing in their lives. But I haven’t seen one of them turn down a raise. I wouldn’t, either. (That'

    March 3, 2014

  • Letter to the editor |To the Editor: As the dust has settled somewhat in the state legislature over HJR-3, with its endless debates, and other matters are given credence in the media, I'm given to reflecting on a phrase made famous by a folk singer of the 1960s who harmo

    February 27, 2014

  • Letter to the editor |To the Editor: As the dust has settled somewhat in the state legislature over HJR-3, with its endless debates, and other matters are given credence in the media, I'm given to reflecting on a phrase made famous by a folk singer of the 1960s who harmo

    February 27, 2014

  • A military budget of delusion |The Obama administration says that we need to end what it calls "the era of austerity" in Washington. Notably excluded from this admonition is the one department of government that is actually experiencing austerity worthy of the name. Defense Secre

    February 26, 2014

  • Brent Glasgow Sherman, Miller apples of the same tree

    There was a wide array of reactions to Seattle DB Richard Sherman’s post-game “interview” with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC title win over San Francisco.

    Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.

    January 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Glasgow Cash greener, but grass not so far for Butler

    Butler is still a long way from saving its 2013-14 men’s basketball season, but if the Bulldogs turn it around fully and reach the NCAA Tournament, it will have started this past Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Glasgow Downer finale doesn’t change Colts’ positives

    A fine season for the Indianapolis Colts ended with a whimper Saturday at New England, but in recent team history, it was far from the most disappointing postseason defeat.

    January 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Glasgow Colts have chance to pen masterpiece

    The Indianapolis Colts’ miraculous 45-44 wild card victory over Kansas City on Saturday ended just after 8 p.m. After leaving Lucas Oil Stadium, it took until around midnight for the pounding in my head to subside.

    January 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • A manufactured ADHD epidemic If at any time while reading this article your attention wanders, you may have ADHD. If you pause to check your e-mail sometime during the next three paragraphs, you should consult a doctor. If you fail to read this article all the way to the end, yo

    December 31, 2013

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

New poll question: Will you be attending this year’s Indianapolis 500?

Yes
No
Undecded
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read