By Rich Lowry
The Hendricks County Flyer
Sat Oct 06, 2012, 04:10 PM EDT
This doesn't mean it is doomed. Abraham Lincoln said that Gen. George McClellan had a case of the slows. The media have a case of the overs. Any alleged Romney gaffe, any bad poll number is taken as yet more evidence that the election is "over."
In prior elections, the media have been criticized for calling a race without waiting until the polls close in California; this time, the media wanted to call the race without waiting until October. The press won't be truly satisfied until a white flag of surrender is hoisted over Romney's Boston headquarters.
In the end, righting his campaign depends entirely on Romney himself. He is not a natural ideologue, nor - obviously - a natural backslapper. But he is a data-obsessed salesman. He should be pitching his program with all the zeal and airtight attention to detail of a presentation for a Bain Capital business deal.
It may be easier to make a future-oriented rather than backward-looking argument against the president. He has no second-term agenda to speak of, besides a tax increase and some more budget meetings with presumed House Speaker John Boehner. How did those meetings turn out last time?
At this point, almost every day, every hour that Romney isn't spelling out the programmatic differences between him and the president - and how they will affect people - is lost time.
Romney wants to reform taxes to make the system more efficient and spur growth; the president wants to raise taxes in a weak economy. Romney has serious plans to reform entitlements; the president has the status quo, plus a price-control board for Medicare. Romney wants to unleash an American energy revolution; the president wants to continue to stand in its way. Romney has a consumer-oriented health-care reform; the president has "ObamaCare."
Romney has to make an unrelenting case for his program, pitched particularly to the practical concerns of middle-class voters. He has to give the public compelling reasons to pick him in an election that will be a choice, not a referendum.
(c) 2012 by King Features Syndicate
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