As the weeks dwindle down toward the general election showdown, Mitt Romney seems to be running on empty. Romney’s dilemma is that he can’t seem to boast about his business or political career without chewing on his toes. The latest in a long string of incautious statements is that the middle class in the U.S. comprises those earning between $200,000 and $250,000 annually. This comes in the wake of the Olympics insult to the British and the swing and miss comments about the latest Middle East diplomatic mess.
So let’s get this straight. Romney can’t talk about his religion because Mormonism isn’t shared by many voters. He can’t talk about his business success because Democrats have successfully painted him as the outsourcer and lay-off man in chief. (Romney should have seen this one coming – in his 1994 U.S. Senate race against Ted Kennedy, Kennedy consultants Bob Shrum and Tad Devine hammered away at Romney’s Bain Capital record).
He can’t speak about his mostly successful tenure as Massachusetts governor, because his biggest achievement – nearly universal health care, with an individual mandate – is anathema to the right wing of his party and the Tea Party crazies.
Romney can’t talk much about foreign policy because he has no foreign policy or military experience. (Every time he wanders into this area he seems to be munching on his sore toes). He can’t talk about immigration because the positions of he and his party are so at odds of the demographic reality of the 21st Century and the growth of the Latino vote. He can’t point to women’s issues because Republicans have become so ensnared with the Christian evangelical and Roman Catholic Bishops’ views on abortion, contraception and family values. Health care, too, is out because Romney drips with hypocrisy every time he tries to skewer Obamacare, which of course, is very similar to the Massachusetts plan he crafted as governor with help from, yes, you guessed it, a certain Edward M. Kennedy.
What is he left with? Well there is the foundering economy, which should be of help to him. Now if only he could come up with a credible plan to get people back to work…