What voters are looking for—and particularly what swing voters, independents, and disillusioned Obama voters are looking for—is a new direction for America based on fiscal discipline, a balanced budget, and economic growth and leadership.
More than anyone else in this race, Paul Ryan has spoken of the need for fiscal discipline and economic growth—two themes that have been largely absent from the Obama-Biden campaign—which explains a large part of the Ryan-inspired Romney bump.
That bump is like 0.75 points, but who cares. Dorka Schoen and Give ‘Em Caddell need not your facts. Centrist Daleks will Tri-ang-u-laaaaate! And hey, Paul Ryan is a Centrist too! You should listen to his Very Serious Centrist Positions on tesseract marathon running and the joys of children conceived through coercion and force.
For his part, President Obama needs to change direction—immediately and decisively. His campaign strategy has been to divide the country on the basis of class, demonize the wealthy, call for higher taxes and unceasingly attack Mr. Romney. Yet poll after poll has shown that while voters embrace the idea of higher taxes on the rich, it does not translate into votes.
In 2008, Mr. Obama promised to help unite America in a “post-partisan” Washington. But the 2012 campaign has been one of the most negative in memory. What he needs to do is acknowledge that he’s made mistakes and that he wants to pursue a substantive approach to governance. Put another way, he needs to bring back “hope and change” and abandon his divide-and-conquer strategy.
Should he do this before or after he announces he’s not running in November because it’s really tragically unfair of him to have broken such a historic streak of white men running the place, you know. It’s the right thing to do.
It has been said before, but only because it’s so true: Mr. Obama should follow the lead of President Bill Clinton, who emphasized in both his terms in office the need for unity and consensus to achieve fiscal restraint. Inviting Mr. Clinton to speak at the convention Wednesday night is a sure sign that the Obama campaign understands the need to move to the center, if not in substance then in style.
Yet nothing would appeal to independents and swing voters more than if the president were to embrace the findings of the 2010 Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction commission and make it clear that he too has a plan to revitalize the U.S. economy, reduce the deficit, reform entitlements and spur economic growth through a fairer and leaner tax system.
So President Obama has the unique opportunity to be the adult in the room by handing control of the country over to the nice folks who aren’t all that sure about evolution because the open-minded scientist must question the theory, but they believe tax cuts magically create additional tax revenues because rich people will spring forth from the nothingness like Orks from Warhammer 40K (and reach a collective critical mass of entrepreneurs, a WAAAAGH! of small business owners who will run around franchising at everything, paint their businesses red because they’ll create jobs faster, and leave nothing but career opportunities in their wake of mass construction. Sure).
Yeah, I’ll buy that. President Obama should totally listen to these guys. (Also, Centrist Daleks versus Small Business Orks. Somebody make that happen.)