On the night he definitively vanquished his last opponent not named Ron Paul, Mitt Romney unveiled a general-election speech. He promised that “a better America begins tonight,” and focused on jobs, wages, and the cost of living in the context of the clash between President Obama’s vision of a government-centered society and his vision of an opportunity society. Crisp, pointed, and optimistic, it was Romney’s best speech of the campaign. We were especially glad to hear him call out the president’s reelection team for its obsession with tawdry distractions.
The Romney campaign has been adept at counter-punching against the nonsense lately. But to win a series of tactical victories in foolish controversies could still amount to a strategic loss. The Obama campaign cannot run on the president’s record, since his major legislative achievements are unpopular. It cannot run on the state of the country, which the public considers deeply unsatisfactory. It cannot win a choice-of-visions campaign because most people prefer a smaller government to a bigger one. We therefore expect repeated attempts to divert the public’s attention from the fundamental questions before it with the asinine and irrelevant: The war on women. How Romney transported his dog in 1983. His tax returns.
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