Through the magic of C-SPAN, right in my bedroom, with my Julie Goodgirl next to me, I am watching a 1984 debate between Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan. Reagan is great and frankly, so is Mondale. The numbers they talk about are hilarious. They were worrying about a deficit in the billions. Now it’s in the 16-17 trillion range. Wow, are we far out on a limb.
But here is what I noticed and what I recall from 28 years ago. The media were totally aligned against Reagan. They HATED him. But he won by a landslide largely because he was a magnetic, likeable guy, and also because he had a specific program:
*stand up to the Soviets;
*win the Cold War;
*more defense spending;
*have a list of specific budget cuts;
*be a patriot.
Now, we have a difficult struggle. The media, except for Fox News, is desperately against Mr. Romney. They love and worship Mr. Obama, the cool mixed-race kid from Hawaii who has skate-boarded and surfed his way into our bland hearts.
But we also have a huge problem of our own making: we do not know who Mitt Romney is. Even to me, who is a political animal, Mr. Romney is a mystery man. Is he “the best, most honest governor Massachusetts has ever had” but a distinct liberal? Or is he now a conservative? What does he stand for? And what does it mean that he is a Mormon?