If you paid any attention to Tuesday’s political events you came away with the very distinct feeling that the primary season is over and the general election has begun in earnest.
The President began the day excoriating the Ryan budget proposal and for the first time calling out Romney by name. Addressing the annual Meeting of the Associated Press; a combative President referred to the House Republican budget as: “a bleak backward and radical vision”; “a Trojan horse”, “thinly veiled social Darwinism”, “antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who is willing to work for it. It is a prescription for decline.”
He chided Romney by name for embracing the plan; and poked fun at the Republican frontrunner’s awkward use of the term “marvelous” in describing the budget. “It (marvelous) is not a word you normally hear when describing a budget. It’s not a word that you normally hear…period.”
Later in the day Romney gave a victory speech celebrating his primary wins in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. Assuming the mantle of the assumed nominee; Romney avoided any mention of his Republican opponents and focused his remarks on the President. He criticized the President’s economic policies and what her referring to as Obama’s vision of a “government centered society.”
“There is a basic choice that we are going to face. The President has pledged to transform America and he has spent the last four years laying the foundation for a new government centered society. I will spend the next four years rebuilding the foundation of an opportunity society led by free people and free enterprises.”
Clearly the battle lines have been drawn. The President has made clear his intention to turn the conversation away from his record and focus voters’ attention on the radical aspects of the Ryan plan. The video of Romney and Ryan attached at the hip in Wisconsin only plays into the narrative. Thus far he has been wildly successful.
Romney will counter by emphasizing his successful career as a “fixer”. He will demonstrate that the lagging economy, high unemployment and skyrocketing deficits produced by the Obama administration require his “fixer” talents.
Spring training is over for the professional political athletes; the regular season has begun. The teams have set their rosters. Both sides are well funded, loaded with talent and eager for the challenge. A long season lies ahead.
The President threw the first pitch…and Romney smacked it right back up the middle.