NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 6, 2012

Finally, Romney steps from the shadows

Big Freddy was hunched over his morning newspaper when I joined him for coffee and whatever would follow.

“Are you reading or dozing off?” I asked.

“Truth to tell, I’m drooling,” Freddy said.

“Did you win one somewhere?” I asked.

“Wednesday night,” Freddy said. “We all did. Romney’s finally making this a race.”

“It’s been no contest so far,” I said.

“It is now,” Freddy said. “Obama figured to win in it a cake walk. But Romney took him on the turn for home, smiling all the way.”

“But it’s a long stretch run,” I said.

“Not as long as the back stretch was,” Freddy said.

“Look at what Romney faced a year ago. Months of dealing with the Republican wannabes in a party stretched from as far right as right can get from the middle. He needed to beat everyone, and he did.

“One by one, they dropped off, but he needs to win over their supporters. Especially, he needs the far right, so he picks Paul Ryan as his running mate, which makes them as happy can get — less than somewhat but a lot more than nothing.”

“But that raises concerns among the middle and the unaligned voters and gives Democrats a big fat bull’s eye,” I said.

“Yes, but a vice president gets to stand over there in the corner for four years to speak when spoken to,” Freddy said. “They get to do what presidents want them to do, which, in this case is for Ryan to do all he can to keep his supporters in line to beat Obama. So, Romney makes the right wing happy, which frees him to move to where he’s comfortable finding common ground where things get done.

“Obama sees this as a gift, and the debate on Wednesday night was going to be a breather for him — except it wasn’t, It was anything but.

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