I just finished watching most of the PBS Frontline "The Choice 2012" on SDPB-TV. I suspect it is impossible to produce an absolutely balanced program on two Presidential candidates, but they had a truckload of history on both Obama and Romney. Both have spent some time in environments where building consensus was important. Both had lost important political races previously. Obama had more than a little of his own experience being on the poor side of the economic curve. Romney had no such time of his own, but got an idea of what poverty and social problems could cause as a Bishop in the Morman Church.
But, I have my jaundiced Democrat filter running. A few interesting things spilled out of the program in ways perhaps not intended by the makers of the video. Romney and fellow Bain corporate raiders viewed themselves as "white knights" saving corporations from the disaster existing CEO's and unions were visiting on American industry. They were intent only on making money and the hell with jobs.
Romney took that experience to the Olympics management and assumed that would propel him into the presidency. Then he became Governor of Massachusetts after being defeated by Ted Kennedy in a run for the US Senate that cost Romney $48 million of his own money. While he was Governor, he issued around 800 vetoes all overturned by the Democratic legislature. Then he and his advisors realized the bleeding of money from the State caused by uninsured healthcare. He decided to work out a compromise with the Democrats. He pushed an insurance mandate so that everybody had to be covered. He worked with Ted Kennedy to get $400 million out of the Bush Administration. He then decided his "Romney care " would make him a shoo-in for the presidency. In the meantime, Obama spent a lot of time trying to get Repubicans in Congress to support health insurance and medical care reform. After Obama and his team invested a lot of political capital, they produced the Affordable Health Care Act without a single GOP vote.
So, now Romney is running against a version of the healthcare "reform" he helped push through in Massachusets because it has Obama tacked onto it now..
Obama may have finally given up on the idea of rational compromise from GOP retrograde obstructionists. His own growth and character may have caused him to hang on to a conviction he could work out compromise to solve serious national problems.
Back when Richard Nixon was first running for major office, he brought in the Madison Avenue soap salesman to sell him. Romney has carried that even further since he has had his own experience selling and marketing. "Market analysis" is almost Mitt Romney's real middle name.
Romney views himself as a product for a political market. Winning elections is a matter of selling himself as whatever poltical product any particular group wants. He has portrayed himself as a management master and as a victim, as pro-life and as pro-choice, as a pacifist and as a gun nut saber-rattler. Add to that his apparent belief that he is somehow ordained to be President and he is a dangerous commodity. His assumption that he is doing the work of God is something obnoxious he shares with Joe Lieberman whose religion on his sleeve better than thou-ism was nearly vomit-inducing.
Obama's big mistake was assuming the Congressional Republicans would behave as grownups when the national interest was involved. I suspect he no longer has that illusion.
He should also have no illusions about Romney, and neither should you. Romney will not let truth and reality stand in his way to the presidency. Couple his issue plasticity with a Republican Congress and you have a recipe for complete disaster. Republicans are running against a charicature of Obama. There is no slander they will fail to use. Republicans, including Kristi Noem, have so absolutely failed in their congressional obligations that they literally have nothing truthful to run on. The GOP convention, Romney's debate data, all are a pack of outright lies or overwheliming distortion coupled to ignorant political and economic mythology
*** Stay tuned, but watch the Frontline Choice program if you want the crap scared out of you--- Doug Wiken