No dates. No dollar signs. No numbers.
Mitt Romney’s two-page plan to overhaul Medicare is an exercise in vagueness.
And that could prove to be a most-effective campaign weapon this election season. Or it could be his undoing.
Specifics might be a thing to be avoided in a campaign. Elections often hinge more on emotions than on facts. They’re often more about how people figure a politician will improve their lives and not so much about the figures proposed by politicians.
And the addition of Paul Ryan to Romney’s presidential ticket hasn’t changed that at all.
A bars-and-charts-wielding Wisconsin congressman, Ryan has a reputation as a specifics guy. But now he’s the No. 2 on a ticket where the attention to detail doesn’t extend to details.
“The nature of running a presidential campaign is that you’re communicating direction to the American people,” an anonymous Romney adviser told the Politico website. “Campaigns that are about specifics, particularly in today’s environment, get tripped up.”
Case in point: President Barack Obama.
Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. The deficit grew instead. Obama said his stimulus plan would keep unemployment below 8 percent. That hasn’t happened yet. He said he’d pass the pro-immigrant DREAM Act in his first term. That didn’t happen, either.
And, in February 2008, Obama campaign surrogate Kathleen Sebelius specifically pointed to Romney’s healthcare reform when he was governor of Massachusetts and said Obama believed “the individual mandate doesn’t work.”
By 2010, the mandate requiring people buy health insurance was the linchpin of Obamacare when it passed. And, ironically, Romney attacks the very plan that was based on his plan.