The Des Moines Register, the Iowa newspaper that got personal interviews with Mitt Romney and Barack Obama–and then complained to the White House about not being able to publish a transcript of the latter–has endorsed Mitt Romney.This is the first Republican endorsement for the paper in 40 years.
The basis of the endorsement is the theory that Obama has done a crappy job with the economy and that Romney, a businessman, might do better.
The Register offers few details as to why it thinks Romney might do better, other than that he has a business background. This is presumably due to the fact that Romney himself has offered few details about how he will do better.
The paper does not address the history that suggests that recoveries following financial crises always take longer and are more sluggish than everyone would hope. The paper notes that the Republicans in Congress rebuffed Obama’s early attempts to work with them, and then blames Obama for not continuing to make those attempts (despite the fact that the Republican campaign strategy for the past four years appears to have been to simply say “no” to whatever Obama proposes in hopes of making him look ineffective. This strategy, it appears, has been quite successful.)
One of the biggest mistakes Obama made in his Presidency was underestimating the depth of the economic recession he inherited and overestimating his ability to fix it. This mistake has helped the Republicans frame the current economic situation as Obama’s fault. And that framing, too, appears to have worked.
The Des Moines Register also notes that it hopes President Romney does not send the country backwards by undoing recent progress on important social, energy, and environmental issues:
We cannot rewind the clock on progress for minorities, women, gays and lesbians. We must make it easier for immigrants to come here to live and work legally and stop making criminals of those who are living here lawfully, paying taxes and raising families. The federal government must continue to insist on clean air and water and encourage clean and renewable energy.
The paper does not explain why it expects Romney to uphold this progress, given that his party’s platform is against many of them.
In other words, Bill Clinton had it nailed. When it comes to elections, you can just forget about all that social and cultural stuff. It’s the economy, stupid.
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