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Posted at 08:17 AM ET, 05/08/2012

Romney is stronger than everybody thinks

I try to understand the call for more "investment" from Carter, the president and the Democrats. But I think the word "investment" has become a cloak for reckless giveaways and vote-buying spending. If we haven't "invested" enough while accumulating more than $15.5 trillion in debt, how much more "investment" will solve our jobs and debt problem? Someone once said, "We can't borrow our way out of debt." How much more spending do Carter and Paul Krugman think we need to do before we will have finally gotten it right? And what then? How, and who, will pay off the debt, and when will that start? I don't ask these questions to make a point; I ask because I sincerely don't know the answer and am eager to hear what thoughtful people think is plausible. The answer to our debt problems can't just be: more.  

While I wait on some thoughtful reflection, I'd like to offer another observation about the state of the race.  

It is hard to make the case that the 2012 primary battles wounded former governor Mitt Romney. It has been conventional wisdom that he won ugly.  That he pandered to the far right but didn't win their hearts, was too rough on his opponents, suffered from the effects of a GOP "war on women" and the cruel GOP budget, that he doesn't connect with voters, is tainted by his wealth and is way uncool. Well ... after all that, Mitt Romney is no worse than even with President Obama.

Yes, the president — who has a unified party, is the one who relates to voters so well, has loyal support among the swooning apologencia (new word) on the left, and is the bee’s knees to every modern pop-culture disciple. What is wrong? Why isn't Obama cruising right now with a big lead over Romney? Answer: Romney is stronger than he has been portrayed and Obama is weaker than most people think. How else do you explain the current polls?

If Romney should be limping after the ugly primaries, burdened by the so-called clumsy Republican leadership and a backward GOP House majority, but isn't, how strong will he be when he shakes off the mud from the primaries and has been alone in the spotlight for a few weeks? In politics it is an advantage to be underestimated. Conversely, it is not helpful to be overestimated. Maybe Romney's problems are overstated and perhaps Obama's are too eagerly minimized. Obama is the favorite and right now he should be dominating the race. He has every advantage. His problems with the economy are obvious, but he may have another problem that his supporters can't bring themselves to admit, and that is a formidable Mitt Romney.

By  |  08:17 AM ET, 05/08/2012

 
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