Mitt Romney’s campaign has now outspent President Obama in the key swing state of Florida by about $11 million. This before Labor Day-the used- to- be official start of Presidential campaigns. Those were the days. This campaign, like all others, is on track to be the most expensive yet. Another fact seems to indicate that 1 in 4 voters in Florida claim to be an independent. That is what both campaigns are focused on: those independents will make the difference on who wins Florida, and perhaps this election. The polls mainly have this race in a dead heat, but when you’re in Florida during the summer, everything seems to be a dead heat.
Romney is wrapping up a foreign trip where he made a blunder in London by telling that city they may have made a few tactical errors in putting the Olympics together. He’s out to calm the potential fears the American Jewish population may have about this Mormon candidate, by siding with Israel on just about everything. Romney is sounding foolishly hawkish in the tradition of mastermind Dick Cheney who Romney lauded as a great VP. Mitt must be politically tone deaf saying nice things about one of the most powerful and incompetent Vice Presidents in history. Regardless of what most Americans feel about Cheney, the extreme right still thinks he did a great job. Romney always needs to solidify that base so look for more nice words about Cheney in the future.
Speaking about the VP, there’s now more talk about a potential Paul Ryan pick. The Wisconsin congressman is a popular man in the current Republican Party because he would double down on tax cutting policies which failed in the past. His budget would slash entitlements which could bring the senior citizen vote solidly back to Obama. It is a campaign that will surely put America on a certain path: more tax cutting as a way to create jobs-which thus far has not worked, or a slow but steady path back to an economy that may never be what it was, and that is most likely to be no matter who wins in November. I realize it doesn’t work much to keep blaming George W. Bush for the on-going mess, but policies set over four years ago led to repercussions that will reverberate in America for years to come. There is no magic touch any President can apply to suddenly right a wrong course set during the Bush years. It’s been shown for the past twenty years that each recession since then is steadily getting tougher to bounce back from primarily because many jobs and industries are being outsourced overseas. This last one was so devastating because the housing market was demolished. With so many foreclosures and families losing up to 40% of their net worth, it will be years before the American economy is on solid ground. Even then, a “new normal” may have set in permanently. Situations like this don’t lend themselves to soundbites and understanding to a country which responds best to easy sounding solutions to complex issues. President Obama will need all his communication skills in making this argument to a public which has grown accustomed to solutions being resolved in hours, just like they do it on TV. America is on its way to a real live wake-up call, no matter who is in the White House.