I heard Romney’s victory speech in Florida, and if I were Obama, I wouldn’t be so confident right now.
Not that it was a great speech. Romney tossed in a silly anti-intellectual line about Obama’s “colleagues in the faculty lounge.” And he parroted Newt Gingrich about Obama wanting to “fundamentally transform America” into something unrecognizable, something akin to “the worst of what Europe has become.”
But Romney hammered Obama on the issue that concerns Americans the most, and that’s the economy. Romney effectively invoked Obama’s own statement three years ago that if he couldn’t turn the economy around, he’d be looking at a one-term presidency.
And while Republicans in Congress have done everything in their power to sabotage the economy, the fact of the matter is, Obama hasn’t turned the economy around – at least not far enough.
People are hurting. The unemployment rate remains at 8.5 percent, and the Congressional Budget Office just came out with a prediction that it will rise to 8.9 percent by Election Day. That spells big trouble for Obama. So when Romney promises “a new era of American prosperity,” many Independents may say, “Obama had his chance on the economy, and he blew it. Let’s try the other guy.”
Of Republican voters in Florida who thought the economy was the most important issue, Romney got 52 percent of the vote, far more than anybody else.
Yes, Romney has his liabilities.
His time at Bain Capital leaves him open to criticism as a vulture capitalist. Obama can just quote Gingrich on that. (I love Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s comment that “he’s not a job creator, he’s a job cremator.”)
And yes, Romney is the walking embodiment of the top 1 percent, right down to his loafers, and he’s vulnerable because of that.
But Obama’s vulnerable, too, remember. And his reelection, by no means, is a foregone conclusion.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Dave Obey Sounds Off on Scott Walker."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter