A finger in every pie, not a chicken in every pot. “Obama: Let’s repeat auto industry success.”

It’s not exactly morning in America , is it? “Dithering in Washington over the ‘fiscal cliff’ of automatic tax increases and spending cuts set for year-end is already hindering economic growth, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Lawmakers’ ‘hesitation adds insult to injury to an economy already flirting with a stall rate,’ said Diane Swonk of Mesirow Financial, referring to the slow pace of economic growth so far this year. While the 47 economists surveyed —not all of whom answer every question — expect a slight pickup to 1.8% growth in the third quarter and 2.1% in the fourth — that pace isn’t strong enough to bring down the unemployment rate substantially.”

Is Paul Ryan the one? “Romney has other worthy VP options that don’t provoke such agita. Overly safe is its own risk, though. Tim Pawlenty would offend no one, but might create a VP letdown in the party. Rob Portman is highly capable but is a former Bush official at a time when the Obama campaign is eager to define Romney as Bush redux. Ryan would inject a jolt of energy into the campaign and reorient the debate around policy. The Romney campaign doesn’t have to be reckless. It does have to have a pulse. It doesn’t have to commit ideological hari-kari. It does have to have an unmistakable substantive content.”

Ask young voters, “Are you better off than you were four years ago”? I suspect most will roll their eyes. “He may still draw huge crowds of screaming fans, but after four years of high unemployment, two college graduates are lamenting that President Obama is not ‘the Obama that I used to know.’ ”

Not, he’s not making us proud again. “The cool presidential demeanor has been shed along with his suit coat out here on hot afternoons, and in its place has emerged an intensely competitive politician who seems to be beginning to take the possibility of defeat in November a bit personally.” And to be out to destroy his opponent personally.

In your heart, you know he’s right on this. Romney: “We have a process in this country, which was established by law, which provides for the transparency which candidates are required to meet. I have met with that requirement with full financial disclosure of all my investments, but in addition have provided and will provide a full two years of tax returns. This happens to be exactly the same as with John McCain when he ran for office four years ago. And the Obama team had no difficulty with that circumstance. The difference between then and now is that President Obama has a failed economic record and is trying to find any issue he can to deflect from the failure of his record. Thanks, guys. Goodbye.”

All people want to return to normalcy, an end to the Obama recession. Obama whines: “And over the next three months, you will see more negative ads, more money spent than you’ve ever seen in your life. I mean, these super PACs, these guys are writing $10 million checks and giving them to Mr. Romney’s supporters. And basically, they all have just the same argument. They all say the same thing. They say the economy is bad and it’s Obama’s fault.” Well, yeah . . .

(In case you are wondering, the above phrases are, in order, the campaign slogans of Hoover, Reagan, Nixon, Reagan, Ford, Goldwater and Harding.)