President Barack Obama took a beating Wednesday night.
Mitt Romney was the clear winner of the first presidential debate. He was articulate and aggressive. He was Massachusetts Mitt, the politician who in 2002 managed to win the governor’s seat in a largely Democratic state.
Whether out of political necessity or an 11th-hour determination to reject his role as a spokesman for the far right, he presented himself as the Compassionate Conservative. After more than a year of railing against financial regulations, he embraced many of them. He spoke with pride of his greatest accomplishment in Massachusetts, a health care program that became the model for the Affordable Care Act. He insisted he would not lower taxes for the wealthy and expressed concern for the many Americans who lack opportunity.
The new Romney presents a legitimate alternative to Obama. If he wins the election in November, America should hope that it is this Romney — not the one of the last 18 months — who takes office.
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