Over at Plum Line, my post today is a speculative one about Romney's strengths and weaknesses as a general election candidate. I've been saying he's mostly a generic Republican candidate, but I find some pluses and minuses around that -- with the strong caveat, of course, that the out-party candidate against an incumbent president just isn't all that important.
I downplayed over there the issues having to do with Romney's wealth and his business background...perhaps I should explain that a bit. My feeling is that every presidential candidate brings baggage to the campaign which is available for the other side to exploit. Figure out what the average level of baggage is, and that's what I'd compare Romney with when assessing him as a candidate. So: is it awkward to have a rich guy as your nominee during a deep recession? Sure. Does Romney seem to have some trouble learning how to talk about his own wealth on the campaign trail? Yes, that too. But is it more baggage than Barack Obama or John McCain had in 2008, or John Kerry had in 2004, or Al Gore and George W. Bush had in 2000? I think it's hard to make a case for that.
So I'm not saying that Romney won't be attacked over these things, or even that those attacks won't lose some votes for him (remembering that all such effects, of course, are only around the margins). I'm just saying it's always something, and so far what we know about Romney's wealth and business background doesn't strike me as above par.