When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, voters were not merely choosing a candidate they found more compelling. They also were endorsing a renewal of the notion that government could be a force for good.
If, as seems possible, Mitt Romney is not elected U.S. president on Nov. 6, he will not be the first presidential candidate to run on the issue of competence and then lose because he ran an incompetent campaign. He will not even be the first governor of Massachusetts to do so.
A group supporting Mitt Romney has spent millions attacking Republican rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich -- using media firms better known for ambushing Democratic presidential nominees Michael Dukakis and John Kerry.
Remember Willie Horton? He was the Massachusetts prisoner, serving a sentence of life without parole for murder, who walked away from a weekend release program and later committed armed robbery and rape. In the 1988 presidential election, Republican vice president George H.W. Bush made Horton a major issue against the Democrat, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.
The Justice Department suit against Standard & Poor’s has entered a phase where lawyers spend months arguing over procedure, and progress is slim. Tony West, who’s overseeing the case. knows the feeling: His nomination to become the agency’s No. 3 official has been blocked for half a year.