A Quick Post-debate Analysis
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By Jay B Gaskill
In an unguarded comment about Governor Romney last week, one of CNN’s liberal analysts, when talking about the governor’s performance in the primary debates, observed – “it seemed like he was the only adult on the stage.” How prescient.
After the debate last night, a focus group (this was on Fox) consisting entirely of uncommitted voters most of whom had voted for Obama last time, were converted to Romney. The most salient comment was to the effect that the filtered campaign image of Romney was so skewed that, when the real man showed up, they were blown away. Frank Luntz, the focus group specialist a veteran of many campaigns (he worked for Ross Perot back in the day) said that this was unique in his experience, a very big deal.
I have maintained that Mr. Romney (who blew through both a law degree and an MBA at Harvard) is both more disciplined and more intelligent than Mr. Obama. That showed. He is also more decent than Mr. Obama is. And that also showed.
The real problem for the incumbent president, now that a real opponent who has moved to front stage has showed up, is what analysts are calling the objective factors. As I pointed out earlier,
The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) (whose advisory board includes Nobel Laureate economists Robert Solow and Joseph Stiglitz; Janet Gornick, Professor at the CUNY Graduate School and Director of the Luxembourg Income Study; and Richard Freeman, Professor of Economics at Harvard University) reminds us that “the underlying rate of labor force growth is now just 0.7 percent annually. This comes to roughly 1,050,000 a year or just under 90,000 a month.”
The CEPR and similar credible sources remind us that the touted net gain of 300,000 jobs for the Obama administration to date was at least 2.7 million jobs short of treading water.
To prevail in November, Mr. Obama must persuade a majority of voters that, having gravely misunderestimated the gravity, scope and seriousness of the nation’s economic problems, he is still the best person to fix it. Mr. Romney’s appearance late night, gracefully dominating the stage, looking and acting more presidential than the incumbent, must have seemed like the ill wind (from the Obama campaign’s frame of reference) that augurs that perfect storm they have always feared. Their problem is twofold:  Now that Governor Romney’s core decency is fully evident, all the personal attacks on him will fall flat.  The objective factors will dominate.
Copyright © 2012 by Jay b Gaskill, Attorney at Law
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