But it isn’t just Obama’s flaws that are making this race interesting. Mitt Romney might not be the most charismatic candidate, but that’s a hidden strength in an election that’s all about competence and getting back to the basics of what once made America work so well. This week, the pro-Obama journalist Andrew Sullivan wrote that with his wealth, good looks and apple-pie conservatism, Romney is like “a focus-group tested model president from 1965”. Sullivan obviously doesn’t realise how popular the TV show Mad Men is. Who wouldn’t warm to a candidate that represents an age marked by low unemployment, stable families and a laissez-faire attitude towards drinking at work?
At first blush, this bit from Tim Stanley’s “Obama is Carter” piece feels clever. If you’re white, straight, and male, it might take a least one full second to remember that 1965 isn’t the good old days from everyone’s perspective.
I’ll give Stanley this much: Don Draper assumed a whole new persona when it was expedient to do so, and his public life is one huge pose. Romney and Obama are vulnerable to this charge on various counts. Does anyone really believe Romney’s ashamed of RomneyCare or that he’s a pro-life? Does anyone really believe that Obama is a federalist on marriage equality?
Yes, this is what politicians do. But Obama was supposed to end all of that. As of right now, he’ll be lucky to win a second term.