Candidates Must Steer Clear of Political Potholes
There is one point in the current presidential campaign about which both President Obama and Republican challenger
The president argues that further stimulus is required but is blocked by Republican obstructionism in
These are legitimate differences worthy of debate in a presidential campaign that public opinion polls suggest will come down to a very close election in November. Unfortunately, as has happened often in the past, less significant matters have surfaced or have been manufactured by one side or the other that trivialize the discourse.
Should Romney disavow
Beyond such distractions, in any close election there is always the danger that something said by one candidate or another, either a true mistake or a careless or inadvertent "gaffe," can have an inordinate influence on voters' judgment. In the current campaign, there already have been several of them.
Romney's penchant for making comments that seem to convey insensitivity to how his great wealth separates him from the average voter has repeatedly betrayed him. They range from his wife's two Cadillacs and the car elevator for a new vacation home to his friendship with
As for Obama, he found himself in hot water recently for erroneously referring to a Nazi concentration camp in
Ironically, a gaffe by an earlier presidential nominee, President
The gaffe in itself, while it may not have bothered most voters very much, arrested his 11th-hour momentum in closing the gap with Carter, as aides tried to convince him of his mistake and to acknowledge it publicly. By the time he did, it was too late to turn the election around.
Such intrusions into serious and substantive discussion of what a presidential campaign should be about can become a fatal pothole in any candidate's carefully charted course in a closely contested campaign like the current one.
To their credit, both Obama and Romney have strived to cast the November election in terms of the basic question of what the federal government's role should be, especially as the country struggles to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The Democratic incumbent continues to argue that, in a period of undeniable economic peril, government must intervene with attempts to stimulate growth. In reply, Romney and the Republican congressional leadership balk, reprising
In any event, voters must choose the nominee who not only has charted the best course to take, but who also has the qualifications and ability to deliver on his promises. The fall campaign, and particularly the debates between Obama and Romney, need to flesh out their differences without regard to extraneous gaffes that may yet surface on either side.
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Candidates Must Steer Clear of Political Potholes | Politics
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