The post mortems on the presidential campaign continue to pour in, the ones on the botched Romney effort the more interesting (and more depressing for those of us who supported him). President Obama was clearly vulnerable, and Mitt Romney clearly positioned to defeat him.
So what went wrong? Let me add my analysis. Three words: Message. Messenger. Messaging.
The messenger was flawed, unwilling to take risks, unprepared for the Obama political wrecking machine, left dazed and confused Election Night.
If inept messaging could be deemed a felony, this campaign was a crime against humanity. I've never seen worse commercials more badly placed on the wrong media than this. In Virginia, we had to suffer through 10 gazillion TV ads attacking China for stealing American technology. China?
More can and should be written about the messenger and his messaging, but let's concentrate on his message. Or the lack thereof, which was the fatal problem.
The message was there in black and white. If only Mitt Romney had embraced Reagan's vision and philosophy and record and pitted it against Obama's on all counts.
Our commander-in-chief has spent four years wah-wah whining about the economic problems left to him by Bush 43, consistently labeling it the "worst recession since the Great Depression," which clearly it wasn't.
You want a nightmare to inherit? Try an economy with interest rates in double digits; inflation over 20 percent; unemployment skyrocketing, eventually peaking at 10.8 percent; gas lines blocks long and a predecessor declaring we live in a "malaise" at home, while abroad our hostages are the personification of America, ridiculed. That's what Reagan was handed.
Reagan spent no time blaming Jimmy Carter. Brimming with optimism he went to work immediately fixing the problem. He slashed taxes across the board, and lifted the yoke of crippling regulations from entire sectors of the economy. Domestic spending was kept under control and federalism extolled. Minimum federal oversight, maximum individual freedom and responsibility -- that was his clarion call.
By the end of his first term, the economy was roaring at 6.3 percent, unemployment was down to 7.3 percent (and would drop further, to 5 percent), inflation and interest rates were under control, and America was on her way to 92 consecutive months of economic growth, the greatest peacetime economic expansion in American history.