Nevada needs a change now; elect Mitt Romney president
RECOMMENDATION: Republican Mitt Romney
OUR VIEW: Nevada, the state hit hardest by the Great Recession, cannot afford four more years of the same, and President Obama hasn’t offered any tangible proposals to change course.
The Gazette-Journal recommends a vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president of the United States.
It wasn’t an easy decision. A recommendation against an incumbent can’t be taken lightly.
President Barack Obama inherited a ghastly mess when he took office in January 2009. He demonstrated a clear understanding in his inaugural address, when he stated, “That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened …”
Nevada was the state hit hardest by the great recession, and four years later, the state continues to lag well behind the others as the U.S. economy shows signs of slow improvement. Its unemployment rate remains worst in the nation; the foreclosure rate, while no longer No. 1, is still among the worst; and the tourism industry continues to struggle. And because of that, public services have been decimated and our schools, in particular, are failing to meet the needs of a state determined to diversify its economy.
However, while he had to contend with a Republican Party that was determined to deny him a second term at any cost, Obama cannot avoid the consequences of poor decisions and misplaced priorities.
Foremost among them was his early focus on an overreaching health-care reform plan that wasted 12 very valuable months of his and Congress’ time and cost him precious political capital. The manner in which the legislation was drafted violated Obama’s pledge to govern openly, and its passage — leveraged through a supermajority — served to further galvanize the partisan divide in Congress. Fear of the impact of that reform and the costs associated with it continue to play a major role in preventing businesses from hiring new employees at a time when nearly everyone agrees that jobs must be the president’s foremost goal.
A vote to re-elect Obama promises four more years of the same. In the two debates between the two candidates so far (a third, on foreign affairs, is scheduled for Monday), the president has shown little understanding of how his failures are affecting the nation, and he hasn’t offered any tangible proposals to change course.
That said, Romney is not without failings. The Republican candidate has shown a troubling willingness to shift his position on key issues, and the Romney who sat down with the Gazette-Journal’s Editorial Board in January did not appear to be the same one seen on the primary campaign trail, and that Romney seemed to be different than the one we saw at the two presidential debates held thus far.
But the United States, and Nevada, cannot afford four more years of the same. The change Obama promised four years ago is needed right now.
As president, Romney’s most important task will be to convince a recalcitrant Congress — including unhappy Democrats who will want to emulate the Republican blockade of the past few years — that there are good reasons to work with him. We’re hopeful that his willingness to shift positions is the hallmark of a consensus builder who can work across party lines to govern the country effectively and not political expedience.
In 2008, the RGJ warned that a vote for the little-known Obama was a gamble, albeit one that Americans should embrace. The country was in need of a course correction.
Based on our current fiscal condition, a still-weak economy and a Congress deeply divided along party lines, our next president will continue to face a daunting challenge, one that must be met for the good of the country. Four years later, we find ourselves in need of change yet again.
Romney must be the leader to get things moving.