In 2008, Obama had the remarkable ability to appear to possess the qualities that many voters were hoping for. He was inspiring, and people to the left and center, even some to the right believed he would do just what they wanted, and take the country – change it – in the needed direction. He was “whoever you want.” Though he did it with integrity; there were few complaints about Obama being anything like an “etch-a-sketch” candidate.
Mitt Romney aspires to that characteristic that Obama showed. He wants to embody the Republican hopes and dreams. Fully 40% of Republicans see through him and only support him by default. Mitt has clearly missed the depth that Obama showed four years ago. He really is a weak candidate; it is only the party and corporate support (though that is a lot) that can propel him anywhere.
How can a candidate be many things to many people, and at the same time have strength of character? Broad appeal is obviously the ticket to the Presidency.
Obama must run now on his record, which has been one of pragmatic, slow but steady progress. And he has witnessed a deepening of vehement opposition at nearly any cost. I am sure that the right’s opposition to Obama is greater than the left ever opposed W. Although the extremely low ratings for W eventually were bipartisan.
Pundits site recent elections, and who has been re-elected under what unemployment numbers. Carter didn’t make it, for example. These numbers should really be compared further back to FD Roosevelt, after the damage that W left the country.
I hope Obama can develop, or maintain his integrity on a new level, and with his new role, as the campaign trudges forward. Since past performance is the best indicator for the future, this is likely. And Mitt? He’ll be whoever you want him to be.