President Obama is more likable than his general-election opponent. He's sure to tout his success killing Osama bin Laden. And given Mitt Romney's inexperience and support for the unpopular Iraq war, it's going to be difficult for the presumptive Republican nominee to profitably challenge the president on U.S. foreign policy. So it's no surprise that Romney is touting his management experience and trying to create the perception that Obama is in over his head.
Speaking with Hugh Hewitt over the weekend, the former Massachusetts governor gave a portent of things to come. "The people that the president has selected have very little management experience. And like the president himself, who has very little management experience, they have not been able to oversee the operations of government as you would hope they would," Romney said. "Certainly, [Operation] Fast and Furious falls into that category. In the case of Solyndra, I think what you have there is just a completely misguided approach to the private sector."
The economy aside, this is where Obama is at his most vulnerable, for beyond the present headlines--the Sunday talk shows were dominated by the story of Secret Service agents seeking prostitutes in Colombia and the lavish 2010 retreat held by the General Services Administration in Las Vegas--this is a man who campaigned on his ability to change Washington and whose political agenda is premised on the notion that government can work efficiently.
But he hasn't changed the way that Washington works. Special interests influence legislation, including his signature health care reform legislation, as much or more than they ever have. And if Obama has been trying to make the bureaucracy more efficient, he's overseen several public failures. Having promised that federal stimulus money would flow to "shovel-ready projects," creating jobs even while improving the nation's infrastructure, Obama was later seen acknowledging what many critics warned--it's impossible for the feds to quickly and efficiently build anything.