In 2008, John McCain made a somewhat risky VP pick who turned out to be a winner, but otherwise ran an overly cautious, fuzzy, non-aggressive campaign with no theme that was largely based on his resume. Remind you of anyone? Like say, our current nominee who made a somewhat risky VP pick who turned out to be a winner, but otherwise is running an overly cautious, fuzzy, non-aggressive campaign with no theme that is largely based on his resume?
Of course, there are some differences. Although Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan were both great picks, they’re terrific picks for different reasons. Additionally, McCain relied on his military career while Romney is relying on his business career. Perhaps most significantly, McCain was outspent 3-to-1 while Romney will achieve parity or even a spending edge over Obama.
Moreover, it’s also worth noting the political environment was so poisonous in 2008, especially after the financial collapse, that I’m not sure Reagan in his prime could have beaten Obama. The White House was essentially just handed to Obama on a silver platter.
This time around, the political environment is more even, but Obama’s performance has been horrible and he has run an execrable campaign. So, how is Romney not ahead by 10 points? Well, I’d suggest Romney is a weak candidate, running a McCainesque campaign against a candidate who has the entire mainstream media flacking for him like he pays their salaries. The lack of aggression on Romney’s part is particularly problematic because Obama doesn’t suffer from that flaw. So, we keep having debates about trivia related to Romney while the wheels are falling off of the country on Obama’s watch.
Despite some of the ridiculously slanted polls you’re seeing that are inexplicably using a 2008 style partisan breakdown of likely voters, the race still appears to be tied and Romney has an excellent chance to win even if he does nothing differently. But, if Romney were running a better campaign, we’d probably just be waiting for the inevitable in November instead of biting our nails.