Suddenly Obama emerges as a strong, consistent and hard-hitting confrontational leader going after Romney’s self-proclaimed calling card for doing a good job as President, and staying relentlessly on target.
Which probably makes both left and center happy – and earns some respect and admiration from the right, who quickly abandons their own guy and slams him as “weak”.
David Axis-of-Evil Frum on Romney:
It’s not just his arguments that are weak. For the past year, we have watched him be pushed around by the radical GOP fringe. He’s been forced to abjure his most important achievement as governor, his healthcare plan. In December, he was compelled to sign onto the Ryan budget plan after months of squirming to avoid it. Last fall he released an elaborate economic plan. On the eve of the Michigan primary, he ripped it up and instead accepted a huge new tax cut – to a top rate of 28% – that has never been costed (and that he now tries to avoid mentioning whenever he can). Romney has acknowledged in interviews that he understands that big rapid cuts in government spending could push the US economy back into recession. Yet he campaigns anyway on the Tea Party’s false promise that it’s the deficit that causes the depression, rather than (as he well knows) the other way around.
But at every point, Romney has surrendered to the fringe of his party. Weak. And now in his first tough encounter with Barack Obama, Romney is being shoved around again. This is not what a president looks like – anyway, not a successful president.
More from Frum here.