Ah, the Republican convention, a chance for a fresh start, a new image, a new Romney, free of the battle scars he acquired over the summer. No mentions of Bain, outsourcing, foreign policy, or taxes allowed. This is Mitt’s moment to reintroduce himself to the American people as a family man, a man of principle, who succeeded because of his ethics, not in spite of them.
Yet so far, the lead-up to the convention has had anything but positive news coverage. Todd Akin, Hurricane Isaac, Romney’s own birther comments (a joke which I thought was rather trivial, on the same level as the Obama joke a few weeks back about Romney’s dog) have all contributed to what seems to be a recurring theme of Romney’s campaign: unfortunate timing. I mean sure, Michael Steele deserves some of the blame for putting the convention in Tampa during the height of hurricane season, and Romney’s own party has done him zero favors out on the trail, but for Romney to have to deal with both at the same time? I think I would rather be an incumbent with 8% unemployment.
Meanwhile, back in Obamaland, things couldn’t be looking better for convention week. The President gets to look commander in chief-y, possibly making an appearance down South, standing on top of a pile of rubble, while champagne corks pop, balloons drop, and Republicans assail Obama for lacking the skills to be President from the comfort of their convention center. Unfortunate optics indeed.
In the end, my prediction is that Romney doesn’t get the boost he’s looking for. Mike put the over-under at 5% and I have to say that based on the start, under is looking like a pretty safe bet. The race will remain locked up tight until the debates when something (anything!) has to happen to break the stalemate.