Donald Lambro

The economy is now clearly in a nose dive and all Mitt Romney has to do is convince a majority of Americans -- especially in the battleground states -- that he knows how to put America on a faster growth track to begin making jobs plentiful again at all income levels.

This means strengthening his campaign -- now in a dead heat with Obama -- in several strategic areas that remain weak. Among them:

-- Romney's career accomplishments still remain largely unknown.

He needs to run TV ads that tell his story which is a compelling one that is just right for our times.

He was governor of a state with a hostile, big spending Democratic legislature that had driven itself deeply into debt when the dot-com bubble burst. He signed hundreds of vetoes to slow spending, balanced the budget, created a rainy day fund, and left office with a low unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

-- He hasn't effectively told the story of his job-creating business investment career, giving him the skills that are needed now more than ever in an economy where jobs are severely in short-supply.

Over 25 years as founder of Bain Capital he's helped build dozens of successful businesses that are household names today, but were tiny enterprises before he came to their rescue:Staples, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Sports Authority, Toys "R" Us, Domino's Pizza and Sealy, to name a few.

This in turn helped create thousands of jobs across our country.

He not only knows how to do this but understands the economics behind its success: Making venture capital plentiful again, setting policies that encourage investment in small and large businesses, and creating a climate of confidence for risk-takers and new business formation.

-- He needs to talk to the American people directly in TV ads where he looks into the camera and tells voters how he can pull us out of this recession and set the country on the road to full recovery.

Americans know a phony when they see one and the difference between an untested, inexperienced politician who has never run even a lemonade stand, let alone a big job-creating behemoth as Romney has.

-- He especially needs to devote more of his campaign ads to the task of simply explaining his agenda for growth and jobs. Chief of among his plans:

1. Cleansing the federal income tax code of loopholes and corporate welfare, and permanently lowering the rates to boost investment, business expansion and confidence in the future.

2. Breaking down barriers to full energy independence, by encouraging more drilling for oil and gas in areas the Obama administration has put off limits. Thus, boosting oil supplies and lowering gas prices. Approving the Canadian oil pipeline to the Gulf which will create 20,000 new jobs.

3. Reauthorize fast track trade negotiating authority to open up new export markets for made-in-America goods and services around the globe.

4. Apply the brakes to out-of-control spending that has driven us to the brink of insolvency, sapping the productive vitality of our economy, and wasting hundreds of billions of tax dollars that need to be retained in the private sector for job-creating expansion.

Romney has spent his life in preparation for the huge leadership tasks that await him to unleash the full power and creative energies of a free economy. Now he needs to convince the American people he can lead us out of the jobless, poverty-stricken nightmare of the past four years.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.