I’ve long thought the best case against Barack Obama is to simply say he’s a good man, an attractive brand, but not so great that we shouldn’t try something else. Like changing brands of coffee.
Mitt Romney hasn’t put it that way, at least not as directly. But that’s the best case for the challenger. He’s probably so close in this race because so many voters are willing to switch from paper to plastic.
In the end, Romney is an acceptable alternative to lots of voters because the Obama camp made too much of the flip-flopping stuff. It made him seem flexible, erasing fears that he might be the right wing ideologue he tried to be in the GOP primaries.
I’ll never understand why President Obama did not run a campaign more focused on a second-term agenda that the public could grasp and appreciate. Instead, his camp spent millions hoping to define Romney as an unacceptable alternative. If that had worked the race wouldn’t be this close.