Piers Morgan interviews Mitt and Ann Romney in London. (CNN)
An extraordinary political earthquake struck America this week. Mitt Romney, widely assumed to be the ‘best of a weak bunch’ of Republican candidates, suddenly overtook Barack Obama in election polls.
Remarkably for someone with a reputation as Mr Dullard, it was his brilliant performance on October 3 at the first of three presidential debates, where he scored the biggest win ever over an oddly downcast Obama, that propelled him into the favourite’s chair…
…how much does Romney’s flip-flopping actually matter to the result of the election? The main concern for Americans right now is the economy, after all. I asked Bill Clinton recently if he felt Romney was a ‘principled man’ and Clinton smiled: ‘That’s not the issue to me.’
And I suspect it’s not for most voters either. They just want to know which man, Romney or Obama, is going to revive the economy faster.
Obama is not a hated figure among most Americans by any means, which is why he may still scrape home. But there’s definitely a distinct disillusionment about his performance, even among many of his diehard supporters.
The great messianic tidal wave of optimism Obama swept in on has been replaced by harsh reality.
He promised Americans tremendous ‘hope’ and ‘change’ and, frankly, they don’t feel he’s given them much hope, or changed very much…
Unemployment is still running at a scarily high 7.8 per cent, meaning 23 million Americans are out of work. Meanwhile, the country’s national debt has risen to a staggering $16 TRILLION, up $5 trillion from when Obama took over. Factor in a still severely deflated housing market, and petrol prices double what they were in 2008, and it all adds up to a pretty miserable economic picture.
That’s where Romney can win. His track record as a businessman is better than almost any presidential candidate ever. He also almost single-handedly turned round the fortunes of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002, after the organising committee turned to him desperate for help.
He sees America as a struggling company, and himself as therefore the perfect person to rescue it.