If we use Obama’s record to determine whether he deserves a second term, how should we assess Mitt Romney, his rival in this election? An important source would be his record as the governor of Massachusetts, in which capacity he served from 2003-2007. However, given that his tenure ended 5 years ago, the bulk of our assessment of him should be based on whether he demonstrates an understanding of the major challenges that concern us and the plans he has outlined to address the same.
An obvious issue in such a comparison is that while Obama has obviously put some of his policies into effect, Romney hasn’t. So it is more difficult to imagine the consequences of his ideas. It is especially for this reason that Romney has a responsibility to clearly explain what his policies are and specifically how they would address the challenges we face. This would allow us to differentiate between the candidates more accurately. Separately, the existence of a record for only one of the two candidates has conferred both the challenger and the incumbent with distinct advantages. For instance, the lack of a record has allowed Romney to argue that Obama’s policies are the cause for a lackluster economic recovery, and that he would succeed where Obama has presumably failed. On the other hand, Obama is making the case that Romney’s plans are unrealistic/impossible to implement and that some of his measures would increase suffering among the most vulnerable classes of our society. Our job as the electorate is to carefully dissect these arguments and choose the one that best represents our interests.
For my part, having considered the plans of both Romney and Obama over the last 8 months, I have made up by mind. In the following posts, I will detail the reasons behind my choice.