Whatever happened to this election being about the economy and only the economy? Well, the summer months ushered in a slew of back and forth arguments between the Obama and Romney campaigns which had little to do with what Romney hoped would be a referendum on President Obama and the stalled economic recovery.
Instead of staying on his jobs message, we’ve witnessed a Romney campaign having to handle Supreme Court decisions on immigration and health care, his role with Bain Capital, outsourcing, Swiss bank accounts, the reluctance to release his income tax returns, a gaffe-filled trip to Europe, and recently, candidate Akin’s misguided comments on abortion and rape. Even the GOP convention has been delayed by the threat of Hurricane Isaac.
This week will be Romney’s best chance to reintroduce himself to the American electorate and, along with Congressman Ryan, re-direct the discussion back to jobs. Next week will be President Obama’s chance to provide a clear rationale for his re-election.
And then, next Friday, mere hours following Obama’s acceptance speech, the government will issue the latest jobs numbers. If the picture remains as unattractive as the last few months have shown, expect the Romney-Ryan team to pounce on the figures and take the offense. So far, that hasn’t come easy for them, but they would be well advantaged to fill the weeks between the conventions and the debates with as much discussion about the economy as they can.