As Rick Santorum pointed out in three states last night, Mitt Romney has a problem. The rationale for his candidacy is beginning to look a little weathered.
Mitt can beat Obama, says Mitt, in essence, because he can give the economy the Bain Capital Treatment. He’ll have his little Mittniks pour through the books to find waste and fraud, revamp bloated entitlement programs, find the perfect mix of tax cuts and incentives, and make the economy go VOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!
But the economy is starting to getting better, allowing Cool Hand Barack to make his case, popped full of holes though it may be, that he’s got the country back in the saddle and you voters better send this City Slicker Romney back to Boston before he messes it up with his Rich Dude ways.
Many Republicans seem to be in a state of denial about the slowly improving economic picture and its probable benefit to Obama.
Case in point was the Grand Conspiracy suggested by some over the 1.2 million people supposedly added to the ranks of the no-longer-looking-for-work, and the insidious numbers nerds over at the Bureau of Labor Statistics who malevolently cooked the books for Obama to show the unemployment rate declining to 8.3 percent.
But these were not newly disenchanted workers giving up the search. They were brand new people, uncounted before, but now recognized by the 2010 census. And they were mostly older, so they were stuck in the non-labor force category. Essentially, the census nerds found a bunch of people they thought were dead. So they had no impact on the unemployment rate.
It’s very true that things are still sickeningly bad. Unemployment is crazy high, and the economy is expanding only at a lackluster pace.
Obama’s economic program has failed miserably, and an economy that could have been roaring right now is simply limping back into shape.
But human beings – AKA voters – tend to consider things in relative terms. That is, if you are told you have terminal leukemia, and then informed a few days later you actually have a really bad case of the flu, YOU FEEL GREAT! Even though you have a bad case of the flu.
Some will realize that Dr. Obama administered the wrong medicine, and that the economy is recovering despite him, not because of him. But he will be able to make the argument - and many may believe it – that the nation shouldn’t switch hospitals now that the patient has been stabilized.
But of course, there’s much more to Mitt, qualities that can make him attractive to independents and that will bring conservatives out to the polls in droves.
Wait a second . . .
Stay tuned for our next installment, Mitt’s Problem, Part 2: It’s Not Just the Economy, Stupid.