The immediate media consensus, especially on the political right, seems to be that Mitt Romney “did what he had to do” in his GOP convention speech Thursday. He repaired an image battered by Obama attack ads, showed he appreciates women, defended Bain Capital and criticized President Obama more in sorrow than in anger. On to the White House!
Well, maybe. Mr. Romney’s speech did hit all of those essential points, but the one thing it didn’t do constitutes a major political gamble. Neither he nor the entire GOP convention made a case for his economic policy agenda. He and Paul Ryan promised to help the middle class, but they never explained other than in passing how they would do it.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Romney tossed out his five policy ideas almost as an afterthought. Energy got one sentence, education scored big with two. Neil Armstrong received almost as much speech time as what Mr. Romney would do specifically to spur faster growth and raise middle-class incomes…
By failing to explain his own agenda, Mr. Romney has left an opening for Democrats and Mr. Obama to define it instead. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them pivot away from personal attacks on Mr. Romney and Bain next week and devote all of their time to assailing his policies.