ENNUI THE PEOPLE
BY PEGGY NOONAN
WALL STREET JOURNAL
The 2012 presidential election is unusual. It is a crisis election like 1932 or 1980, with the American people knowing we're at a turning point and knowing that who we pick now really matters. But crisis elections tend to bring drama—a broad sense of excitement and passion. We're not seeing that this year. ...We have not seen political genius in Mr. Obama. Whether you will vote for him or not, you know you haven't seen it. He seems to view politics as his weary duty, something he had to do on his way to greatness. ... As for Mr. Romney it is a commonplace in punditry to implore him to speak clearly of where he'll go and how and why we should follow. ... What does all this suggest? That voters this year will tend to be practical in their choice and modest in their expectations. Which isn't all bad. But joy would be more fun.
WHO’S VERY IMPORTANT?
BY PAUL KRUGMAN
NEW YORK TIMES
...There is, of course, a good chance that Republicans will control both Congress and the White House next year. If that happens, we’ll see a sharp turn toward economic policies based on the proposition that we need to be especially solicitous toward the superrich — I’m sorry, I mean the “job creators.” ...To be sure, many and probably most of the rich do, in fact, contribute positively to the economy. However, they also receive large monetary rewards. Yet somehow $20 million-plus in annual income isn’t enough. They want to be revered, too, and given special treatment in the form of low taxes. And that is more than they deserve. After all, the “common person” also makes a positive contribution to the economy. Why single out the rich for extra praise and perks?
TRIBES OF THE SWING STATES
BY TIMOTHY EGAN
NEW YORK TIMES
The Romney who made fun of Nascar fans in see-through plastic rain slickers or insulted the small-town cookie makers is the person Mike Huckabee was referring to when he said voters don’t want their candidate “to look like the guy who laid them off.” A plutocrat should never preen. In most of the swing states, two of Obama’s core constituencies — college grads and Latinos — have increased as a share of the electorate. White, blue-collar men, a group that gave only 40 percent of its vote nationwide to Obama in 2008, are shrinking as a percentage. This is the tribe that Obama has to connect with if he expects to win a second term. They fill their beer coolers with motel ice, because it saves a couple of bucks, and are looking for a president who has their back.
OBAMACARE IS NO REMEDY
BY GOV. SCOTT WALKER
In Wisconsin, the data show that Obamacare will increase the cost of health care for most residents. That is not a prescription for positive change. Other states will face similar situations. We can do better. ... The federal government should give Medicaid block grants to states. This would allow states to maximize the efficient use of tax dollars and increase private-sector competition while still providing care for those in need. Increasing access to health care won’t come through mandates, taxes or penalties. Truly improving access for families will require costs to go down. Unfortunately, Obamacare moves in the opposite direction by making insurance more expensive.
DID REPUBLICANS FORGET TO VET ROMNEY?
BY JONATHAN BERNSTEIN
Romney did fight for two contested nominations over two cycles, and that's something no matter what. The press, of course, has had about six years to dig in to him, and that’s not counting the press in Massachusetts. And I’m not saying that Romney is a poor general-election candidate or that there are necessarily going to be any important revelations ahead. I think he’s a generic Republican candidate, which is pretty good, really, and I have no idea whether the media (and the Obama campaign) will learn anything that makes him look worse than that. It’s just that we usually have a process that can reassure his party that whatever’s out there has probably been uncovered, and I’m not sure that’s the case this time.