He started with “moderate businessman,” then went all “severe conservative,” but now Mitt Romney has finally found his identity: he’s 2008 Barack Obama. His closing argument is that he will deliver what Obama promised when first running for the presidency: jobs, bipartisanship and change.
Obama, conversely, has always known his opponent: the presidency of George Bush. Bush provides a very convenient catch-all for Democrats: a Republican president who is generally agreed to have messed everything up. Obama’s attacks Romney on a personal level (liar, flip-flopper, chameleon) and his policies with a steady refrain: he would take us back to Bush.
It all still comes down to who you blame for the weak economy. Obama places the blame on Bush and the financial free-for-all that led to the housing crisis and the collapse of the economy. Romney is hoping that those years have faded in the voters’ memories, and that they will see a ship slow to rise out from underwater with Obama at the helm.
As for the claim that Obama has failed to bring about a new era of bipartisanship, that’s half true. Obama actively compromised his positions to try to get Republicans onboard, and Republicans treated everything that left his office like a horrid piece of socialist filth. Which is to say, perhaps Romney and Ryan should not be looking to their left when they complain that there hasn’t been much cooperation between parties for the last four years.
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