by Gary R’nel – 5/4/12 –

I was out to dinner with friends recently when about midway through the meal I began suffering from indigestion. No, it was not the food that was the source. It was my friend Charles (full disclosure: a progressive, liberal democrat) who was feeling over confident about Barack Obama’s chances in November. Charles was pointing to a recovering economy, a resurging jobs market and a rebounding housing market. I was indignant. Unemployment remains above eight percent. When you include the underemployed, those who have given up on the job search and inner city youth a more accurate number is in the fifteen percent range. When it comes to housing, a recent S & P Case Shiller report indicates prices falling in 16-of-20 top metro cities. New home sales also fell last month by the largest amount in more than a year. When I reminded Charles about gasoline prices approaching four dollars per gallon, he became indignant, insisting Mr. Obama’s energy secretary had it right. We should be paying even higher prices in order to conserve.

Queue Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney I implore you to stay on message (the economy) for the duration of the campaign. I am also asking you to give that Etch-a-Sketch a final shake and be honest with the American public concerning your political ideology on several issues including legitimate health care reform ( cease and desist with the I will repeal ObamaCare my first day in office) and entitlement programs. On tax reform you seem to have a substantive proposal.

Finally, you need to focus on your sizable deficits among women, Latinos and Hispanics and to a lesser extent among independents. It is these groups who will determine the next president of the United States. Mr. Romney, you need to project more detail and specifics and less rhetorical redundancy. The American electorate has had enough sloganeering and it is causing too much heartburn.