The Orlando Sentinel endorsed Obama last time around. And now the newspaper has come out with a solid endorsement of Romney. If you want a glimpse into the shift that has moved Romney forward, the Orlando Sentinel editorial is a good place to start.
The endorsement deconstructs and discards Obama’s defense argument, focuses in on the economy and makes the simple and straightforward argument that Obama is not going to perform any better in the next four years.
We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.
That is really what the debate shift has come down to. Obama came into the debates and failed to convince voters that he will do better. He failed to take responsibility or announce any major shifts that would restore confidence in his leadership.
Voters waited and waited and got nothing for their troubles. The debates were not run on a point system. They came down to whether Romney was a credible replacement for Obama and whether Obama had anything new to offer.
Obama’s defenders would argue that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, and would have made more progress if not for obstruction from Republicans in Congress. But Democrats held strong majorities in the House and Senate during his first two years.
Other presidents have succeeded even with the other party controlling Capitol Hill. Democrat Bill Clinton presided over an economic boom and balanced the budget working with Republicans. Leaders find a way.
The next president is likely to be dealing with a Congress where at least one, if not both, chambers are controlled by Republicans. It verges on magical thinking to expect Obama to get different results in the next four years.
And that’s what it comes down to. Obama has failed. He has given no one any reason for thinking that he will fail less next time around. Many of the voters who came out for him in 2008 and even some of the media outlets have begun moving on. And there is a slow shift in the coverage building. Romney is less often being depicted as a ridiculous and improbable wingnut with no hope of even placing in the election, he’s being treated as a likely winner and everyone is getting used to it.
Romney is not our ideal candidate for president. We’ve been turned off by his appeals to social conservatives and immigration extremists. Like most presidential hopefuls, including Obama four years ago, Romney faces a steep learning curve on foreign policy.
But the core of Romney’s campaign platform, his five-point plan, at least shows he understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government’s balance sheet are imperative — now, not four years in the future.
This is where Obama failed. He failed in the debates. He failed four years ago. And while he rambles on about binders full of women and Big Bird, the country wants answers, not more memes and zingers.