Obamacare tax confusion a warning sign: the peril of playing it safe.
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It’s becoming clear that Romney has decided to focus on the economy at the expense of everything else, even issues that could play to his political benefit. He’s avoided criticizing the administration’s handling of the botched Fast and Furious operation, even as it threatens to become a serious vulnerability for the president. He’s been silent in responding to Obama’s immigration executive order, not wanting to offend receptive Hispanics or appear like a flip-flopper. He appears more likely to tap a safe, bland running mate like Ohio Sen. Rob Portman or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty who won’t do him any harm but won’t benefit him much either.
And what has Bill Kristol posted over at the Weekly Standard? This:
Remember Michael Dukakis (1988) and John Kerry (2004)? It’s possible to lose a winnable presidential election to a vulnerable incumbent in the White House (or in the case of 1988, a sitting vice president). So, speaking of losing candidates from Massachusetts: Is it too much to ask Mitt Romney to get off autopilot and actually think about the race he’s running?
Adopting a prevent defense when it’s only the second quarter and you’re not even ahead is dubious enough as a strategy. But his campaign’s monomaniacal belief that it’s about the economy and only the economy, and that they need to keep telling us stupid voters that it’s only about the economy, has gone from being an annoying tick to a dangerous self-delusion.
What all these different sources are noting is in essence the same thing: Mitt Romney and his campaign are behaving like Thomas E. Dewey in 1948.
Back in October of last year, the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger observed of Romney that:
This candidate will have to be pushed a lot harder to make him a good president.
Based on Romney’s confused response to the Supreme Court ruling, his apparent unwillingness to thread issues other than the economy into a Reaganesque narrative of a failed president, and the impression he is giving in all manner of quarters that like Tom Dewey he is going to play it safe, the estimable Mr. Henninger may have made a mistake.
The real truth here may be that “this candidate will have to be pushed a lot harder to make him a good — make that winning — presidential candidate.”
The time to stop playing it safe is now.
Remember Thomas E. Dewey — the president who might have been. And never was.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?