Romney misses the commander-in-chief mark

When the Framers of the current Constitution set out to replace the prior Articles of Confederation, they did that with the thought of having a strong, energetic executive in place.  Continued threats from Europe plus the events of Shay’s Rebellion emblazoned on their minds the need for an executive that could react quickly to national emergencies.

Remember the last thing they wanted was a monarch or some other authoritarian figure in place.  They’d just fought a revolution for the purpose of getting away from the tyranny embodied in the British monarch.  At the same time they knew that securing the safety of the citizenry also meant having in an executive not tethered by too many procedural rules for engaging enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Mitt Romney did not show that energy.  Some of his supporters today are arguing that it was a part of his strategy to look subdued; to stay above the fray by hitting highpoints thus looking presidential.  If that was the tactic, then it didn’t work for me.

What we got from Mr. Romney was a checklist of some basic theory you may read in political science 101; the stuff you’d put on a pop quiz just to get a “C” and keep on moving.  We also got Mr. Romney moving back to his comfort zone, the economy.  His attempts to tie the economy into foreign policy were clumsy where he seemed to make foreign policy a mere backdrop for the rehashing of the first debate.  Repeating the first debate, in my opinion, only emboldened Mr. Obama, for not only was he able to show his foreign policy chops, but was also able to erase the memory of a listless performance on domestic affairs with an invigorated performance on both subjects.

What Americans need to realize is that while the president by law is required to monitor the economy and give Congress an update on the economy’s status, the free market framework of the economy also means the president has little to no control over it.  We do not live in a centralized, command and control economy where an American president gets to go Stalinista on determining output and pricing.  His first and primary duty is the protection of the Commonwealth from domestic and foreign threats.

Unfortunately, Mitt Romney never took the time to distinguish himself enough from Barack Obama to help us understand why we should waste time, energy, and money transitioning from one administration to another.

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
This entry was posted in Barack Obama, commerce, Economy, Elections 2012, Mitt Romney, Political Economy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Romney misses the commander-in-chief mark

  1. Ken Ciszewski says:

    Romney was definitely well out of his comfort zone and was playing defense quite a bit of the time. I agree he is not a good candidate for Commander in Chief. He doesn’t have the chops for it. He’s a rich man’s son and a big businessman who wants to become President because his father George Romney did not. That’s not a good reason to run for President, in my opinion.

    All that bluster in the previous debate about creating 12 million jobs by Romney was just that, because, as Alton points out, the President has almost no control over the US economy. A little influence, maybe, but not much else. Unless of course, Romney is going to personally start a few hundred businesses with his vast fortune.

    It’s interesting that Obama seems to have figured out how to be a Commander in Chief, since his GOP detractors criticised him early in his first term. Some surprises are pleasant surprises, like this one is for the American people. For Al Quaida terrorists, not so much.

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