Conservatives needed either a crystallizing candidate -- a candidate with a unique capacity to identify the ideological conflict -- or a crystallizing moment, in which the American public suddenly recognized Obama for who he truly is. They didn't choose a crystallizing candidate. They chose a risk averse candidate, highly competent but bland.
And so conservatives must wait for a crystallizing moment. That moment will not come on the domestic policy front. Obama will shy away from any major initiatives from here to the election. He will largely rally against the rich, against the "elites" -- against the Mitt Romneys of the world. And Romney will be left to campaign on Obama's record, twisted and turned by the media from dross into gold. Obama's inflationary policies have driven up the stock market and driven down the unemployment rate, thanks to massive workforce dropouts. Oil prices will undoubtedly drop precipitously at a convenient moment, so long as Obama makes OPEC countries a few promises on Israel behind the scenes.
If there is to a crystallizing moment, it will come on foreign policy. Obama's foreign policy has, if possible, been more damaging than his domestic policies, which simply doubled down on Bush's spending addiction. Obama's foreign policy is different in kind: It sees America as a nasty force in the world, a country in need of a lesson. And America may well get that lesson.
Hence Obama's dramatic attempts to undercut Israel on taking out the Iranian nuclear program. If Obama is forced to choose between his hard-left and Islamist allies and an American public largely friendly to Israel, he will reveal himself to be the radical he truly is.
This election cycle started with the promise that it would be run on economics. It will be run on economics, for the most part. But if Romney is to win, he will win on foreign policy.
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