Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech Thursday night was less of an emphatic statement of purpose than a direct challenge to President Obama. In a low-key, neighborly way, he portrayed Obama as a disappointing leader who squandered the goodwill of the American people. In doing so, Romney served the ball cleanly into Obama’s court. Next week, Obama will have a chance to return the volley. He would do well to offer a clear, persuasive game plan for the future.
But Romney, it seemed, missed a chance to articulate a fully convincing game plan of his own. Instead, he repeated some of the piecemeal promises he’s made earlier in the campaign: expanded oil and gas drilling, a repeal of Obama’s health plan, a tougher stance on Iran’s nuclear program, and a general commitment to lower taxes and less government regulation. Some of these ideas are workable; others, such as his suggestion that eliminating Obama’s health plan would drive down premiums, seem more a step backward than forward. But they don’t amount to the compelling plan for American renewal that Romney promises.