When Elvis died, his manager, Col. Parker, reportedly said, “This changes nothing,” a statement that describes my conclusion about today’s jobs report. The economy continues to be weak, but so does Romney’s candidacy. As I have said for many months, if Obama wins in this economic climate, it will rewrite the rules of political physics. But the fact that he still might is a testament to Romney’s empty campaign.
After the primaries that so weakened him, I thought Romney would do what George W. so effectively did in 2000: Walk away from the mess, check himself for ticks and start appealing to independents. How hard would this have been? And he can still make the pivot. Why doesn’t Romney say now, “I know how to solve problems and create jobs. I’m not an ideologue; I’m a pragmatist, and I will assemble the best team and use the best ideas to create jobs and repair our nation’s finances. And most of all, I will hold myself, my team and our government accountable.”
This isn’t exactly the Gettysburg Address, but someone from speechwriting could tart it up. My point is that Romney doesn’t need to tie himself to the anchor of trickle-down economics or use empty rhetoric, as he is doing now. He needs to use his resume and some new ideas to give Americans the confidence he can do a better job. It’s a pretty low bar, but so far he hasn’t cleared it.