It’s not the combination to my locker (I’m too cheap to join a gym). It’s the essence of the 2012 presidential election: 37, 47, 11.
And I’ll tell you why.
On foreign policy, 17 of Governor Romney’s 24 advisers come from the George W. Bush Administration. So if you liked the finesse with which President Bush handled foreign policy, as some do, fair enough — Romney’s your guy. But this next election is not about foreign policy.
On the judiciary, Governor Romney’s chosen adviser is Robert Bork. So if you liked Citizens United and want to see Roe v. Wade overturned — if you think Bush v. Gore was well-reasoned and that it’s okay for Clarence Thomas’s wife to head a conservative advocacy group — again, Romney’s your guy. But this next election is not about the Court. (Well, actually, it is, but that’s not what will decide it.)
What this next election is about is jobs.
In one corner you’ve got the President of the United States, who inherited an economy hemorrhaging jobs, stabilized it, and — despite Republican refusals to do so much more that should have been done — has given us 26 straight months of private job growth. You’ve all seen the graph by now.
In the other corner, Governor Romney, whose success with the 2002 Olympics turns out to have been based in no small measure on his ability to wangle $410 million in federal subsidies — more than in all past Olympics combined — and who was already given a trial run at this: namely, a four-year chance to use his job creation skills to boost the economy of Massachusetts.
How’d he do?
When he took office, Massachusetts had a lot of room for improvement: it ranked 37th out of 50 nationally in job creation. Romney ran for election on his promise to do better — as he’s running and promising now.
After four years of applying his skills, Massachusetts had actually fallen from its not-great 37th out of 50 to a near-worst 47th out of 50.
And lest you think Massachusetts has so little inherent potential that no one could have arrested that slide, please note that under his Democratic successor, Massachusetts now ranks 11th out of 50 for job creation, nicely near the top.
So there it is: 37th when he took over, 47th after he applied his skills, 11th now that he’s gone — 37 47 11.
Governor Romney embraces the Paul Ryan budget. He would increase military spending; cut taxes on the rich; tighten the screws on the sick, the poor, and the elderly. That’s his path to job growth: cut back on infrastructure and research and alternative energy initiatives, fire more teachers and nurses, lower taxes on the rich. More on this tomorrow.
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