Friday, May 18, 2012

GOP governors' delicate balancing act

This really is an interesting tension that has the potential to get even more troublesome for Mitt Romney in the coming months.

GOP governors like Bob McDonnell and John Kasich are boasting about their states' improving fortunes, which obviously improve each governor's fortunes, but not necessarily Mitt Romney's.

In fact, the sunnier dispositions and climates could hurt Mitt, as the AP's Bob Lewis notes:

To win, Romney must convince voters — especially those in the roughly dozen swing-voting states where the race is likely to be decided — that the situation is so bad that that they should give him a chance to do what Obama hasn't been able to do: get the economy really going.

.... In a way, however, Republican governors, many of them freshmen elected in 2010, aren't making it easy for Romney to make his case.

McDonnell, for one, spent an entire week canvassing his state and used $400,000 from his own political action committee to run TV ads statewide trumpeting a 2½-year turnaround in job growth and business expansion. Virginia's unemployment rate fell from 7.3 percent the month he took office in January 2010 — the depth of the crippling recession — to 5.6 percent last month.

"We've been rated the top state for business in America," McDonnell bragged, ticking off citations from several outfits after touring a newly opened circuit board factory in Danville.

Ohio's Kasich is equally upbeat as he takes credit for 100,000 new or retained jobs since taking office in January 2011and for a new, private job-creation agency called JobsOhio. The state's unemployment rate ticked down from 7.5 percent in March to 7.4 percent last month.