June has proven to be a strong month for the Obama campaign. The president’s support for same-sex marriage, his executive order on immigration reform and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare has put Team Romney on the defense as evidenced by Romney’s “flip-flop” on whether the individual mandate in Obamacare is a penalty or a tax.
Be advised that this is no small issue since Romney desperately wants to keep his resume free of any so-called tax increases while he was a one-term governor of Massachusetts. Though Republican appointee John Roberts, chief justice of the Supreme Court, chose to call the fee a tax in his opinion versus a penalty, Team Romney has called it both a penalty and a tax in the last few days. It appears that Mr. Silver Spoon wants it both ways.
Now it appears that some of his most prominent supporters are questioning his prospects for winning. News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch have questioned the experience and seasoning of the Romney campaign staff and, frankly, whether Romney has those qualities necessary to defeat an incumbent president in the fall. Murdoch tweeted recently that Romney would fail in his attempt to win. In fact, his exact words were: “Met Romney last week. Tough O Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful.”
He added: “US election is referendum on Obama, all else pretty minor.”
This is just the latest in a series of anti-Romney tweets. Last week, the News Corp CEO wrote that Romney “seems to play everything safe, make no news except burn off Hispanics.”
It didn’t help Romney any to have pictures of him vacationing on jet skis at his lakeside estate in Wolfeboro, N.H., go viral on the Internet while the Obamas canceled their summer vacation plan. Makes one wonder how important winning the election is to Romney versus winning the nomination. A lot of sports teams have this problem. They focus all their attention and energy on winning the playoffs and then fail miserably in the finals. Time will tell whether June was the month in which Romney dropped the ball.
I see no Romney path to electoral victory that doesn’t include him winning Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. At the moment, Romney leads in none of them with Ohio being the only “toss-up” state. Ironically, Obama kicked off his bus tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania this morning. It is called “Betting on America.” I call it “Taking the Game to Romney.” So what was Team Romney’s response? Send in the “B” team including former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to “shadow” the president’s bus tour. So where’s Romney? You got it. He is still on vacation at the lake in New Hampshire ... an Obama state this fall. Probably doing a little “off-shore” banking.
If Romney and his minor league staff continue to play defense, the Obama margin of victory on election night may get ugly. Right now it’s not whether Obama wins, but by how much.
Yeah ... June was a good month for Obama. Think about it. Summer has just begun and the tough old Chicago pros have just begun to take Romney apart. Stay tuned.
• Jon Beydler is a 34-year Valley resident and the former Mayor of Fountain Hills who lives in south Chandler.