It appears Mitt Romney is going to take Obama’s statement about “bumps on the road to recovery” and hang it around his neck like an albatross from now until his campaign ends.
Romney’s new ad argues, “President Obama’s 20 million bumps in the road would stretch from the White House to Los Angeles . . . and back.”
Some Romney critics will argue that these short web ads don’t talk about the solution much, merely emphasizing the scale of the problem and whacking the president for seeming to dismiss the unemployed’s enduring difficulties as mere “bumps in the road.” But in a way, that’s all Romney needs to do, at least for now. This maneuver forces Obama’s defenders to try to argue simultaneously that A) Obama’s policies really are a success, it’s just that no one can see it yet, and B) Obama realizes how bad things are and is completely dedicated to solving the problem.*
It can be argued that Obama’s policy prescriptions in 2007 and 2008 were deliberately vague or unrealistic; he had to remain the blank slate that everyone from Markos Moulitsas to Warren Buffett could project their ideals onto. Romney may be trying the same, emphasizing how much he finds the current problems intolerable — and letting everyone believe/hope that as president, he would enact their preferred remedies.