Most of the major political commentators are declaring President Obama the winner in his reelection bid. They point to polls which now favor Obama at numbers well beyond the margin of error. These margins are still growing. So is the race over?
Of course not. Reality demands the election continue until November 6 and only when the polls have closed and the absentee ballots counted, there will remain a chance for Mitt Romney. But how would Romney turn things around?
There are the debates in which Romney could appear wiser and more “presidential”. On the other hand, Romney’s dry and emotionless delivery makes it less likely that Romney would be convincing. Probably not the debates.
There are world events. These are indeed the wild cards. Romney, however, has no foreign policy and is left only with the line “well I would not have done it that way”. World events also can cut both ways. They could just as easily put President Obama in a favorable light as they could be critical of him. Possible, but still very unlikely.
And there is a real wild card. Romney could decisively change his stated positions. He could provide details and wave the white flag over taxes on the rich. He could say that for the next three years he will not be reducing the deficit. His policies which will emphasize growth will actually increase the deficit. Only after the economy is perking along, will Romney tackle the deficit. Romney could say he will tackle entitlements but will do so only as part of a comprehensive set of policies that reform health care. He would say that entitlements like Medicare are not free and must be paid for. He would, however, lay out a broad based tax revenue and individual contribution schedule which was progressive and fair.
Romney could also call a truce on all the social issue. Under his watch, there would be no retrenchments on Roe v Wade or Federal policies against gay and lesbian rights. He could promise a comprehensive solution for the immigration problem and assure a fast path to citizenship.
Romney could do all this and really have a chance at tipping the scales.
Oh, there is another possibility. President Obama could say essentially the same. The President could say there is no way to fix the deficit unless we solved the health care cost dilemma. More than half the deficit is caused by Medicare/Medicaid. And there cost increases are driven by both demographics and the out of control annual increases in health care costs. Telling Americans that their health care delivery system is the most expensive in the world and on top, not the best would be both brave and courageous but politically dangerous. Strangely that revelation is public knowledge and available to anyone who wants to look. But you won’t hear the President say that.
So there are 4 possibilities. Do you think any of them will take place?
When pigs fly, maybe.