Douglas E. Schoen’s Perspective:
With last week being consumed with concerns about Bain Capital, his offshore accounts, the nature and extent of his holdings, and whether he was truthful about his departure date from Bain, Mitt Romney needs to change the subject, and quickly.
But let's be clear, Gov. Romney cannot hope and expect that the announcement of a vice presidential nominee, now or in the near future, will distract attention from what is now the Democrats' and the media's very real concerns about his credibility and integrity.
It doesn't need to be this way.
|The Romney campaign would benefit more from an economic plan than an apology from President Obama.
Romney has tried to make this election a referendum on President Obama, and to do that, he needs to talk about the future — about what his program will be, how he will specifically reduce taxes, stimulate the economy, create jobs and reduce regulation, with specificity and precision.
In the same way that he has talked about moving up the date of his announcement of his vice presidential candidate, so too does he have to move up the announcement of his detailed plan — traditionally something that would be articulated at, or around, his acceptance speech at the convention.
Put another way, with the Purple Strategies polls showing the race in key swing states deadlocked, and with Rassmussen and Gallup showing that the president's approval is below 50 percent and that his vote share is also below 50 percent, Gov. Romney still has a chance.
But it is a chance that is fleeting, largely as his credibility on economic issues is declining, something that the Pew poll last week made clear. The governor's real challenge is to clarify for voters, once and for all, why he should be elected president, what he will be offering the American people, and how he will change underlying economic conditions.
That being said, there's something else he needs to do. He needs to do a speech on his finances and on the economy, on Bain, to clarify once and for all who he is. A type of Nixon 1952 Checkers’ speech; but where Nixon was able to talk about Republican cloth coats and his everyman lifestyle, Romney is going to have to explain how he became a multi-millionaire (or more) through hard work, and why he did not either break the rules, bend the rules, or otherwise take advantage of loopholes and opportunities not available to anyone other than .001 percent of the population.
It's a tough challenge Gov. Romney faces, but rest assured, unless he is able to do both tasks: announcing a vice presidential candidate and asking for an apology from President Obama will not do the trick.
Unless and until Gov. Romney changes the dialogue to what he will do — and why Obama has failed — the Obama administration is not going to back off, and they are certainly not going to apologize.
Douglas E. Schoen is a political strategist, Fox News contributor, and author of several books including the recently released, "Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond" (Rowman and Littlefield). Read more reports from Doug Schoen — Click Here Now.
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