Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Leading Not Managing

The WSJ editors review Mitt Romney's economic plan:

Mitt Romney rolled out a major chunk of his economic agenda yesterday, and we'll say this for it: His ideas are better than President Obama's. Yet the 160 pages and 59 proposals also strike us as surprisingly timid and tactical considering our economic predicament. They're a technocrat's guide more than a reform manifesto.

Ding! Ding! Ding! This criticism applies not only to his plan but the candidate himself. Why haven't Republicans been more excited about Romney even when he was the nominal front runner? Because there simply wasn't much there to get excited about. We're not looking for someone who's looking to play it safe by proposing half measures and finely calibrated actions. We're looking for a candidate who's willing to talk about and push forward the type of far reaching reform we need to turn things around. And these reforms can certainly have a technocratic feel to them (see Ryan, Paul) but they need to be big and bold. Now is not the time to play small ball.

The editorial closes with this conclusion:

The biggest rap on Mr. Romney as a potential President is that it's hard to discern any core beliefs beyond faith in his own managerial expertise. For all of its good points, yesterday's policy potpourri won't change that perception.

At this point, it's hard to imagine anything that will.