Bear hug of Obama puts squeeze Romney


With one exuberant bear hug, Scott Van Duzer put Mitt Romney’s problems in high relief. You know Van Duzer as the Florida pizza shop owner who lifted President Obama off the ground when he visited the shop Sunday. What you might not know is that Van Duzer is a registered Republican. In fact, Van Duzer is the rarest of 2012 voters, it would seem. He's a Republican who not only voted for Obama in 2008, but also says he plans to do so again on Nov. 6.

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When MSNBC's Chris Jansing asked the small business owner why Obama still had his vote when Republicans keep saying the president is out to get them, Van Duzer said, “Yeah, I am. You know originally I voted for him. I was taken by his enthusiasm. His message at the beginning.” He added, “It’s my responsibility to be successful at my business and not his.”

Then, Van Duzer got to the part that remains Obama’s number one asset against Romney: likability.

I just liked his enthusiasm and he’s taking the country in a direction, you know, obviously things are tough. It’s tough for everyone. Not just tough here in America. It’s tough worldwide. And I was taken by his dedication, and he just seemed like a great guy, and he really is a great guy after I’ve met him.

Until someone can say that about Romney — the latest CNN-ORC International poll puts Obama’s favorable rating 9-points higher than Romney’s — he will have a hard time getting his plans through. And if the Sunday shows are any indicator, Romney isn’t interested in specifying what those plans exactly are. So, why is he running for president again?

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.
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