We probably already know how the Republican and Democratic candidates will answer these questions, but it is always good to get their views on the record and let the public see where they stand. This is particularly important because, according the public opinion polls, Americans overwhelmingly support affirmative answers to these questions.
Absent Glass-Steagall, banks could purchase anything from an aluminum company to a fast food franchise and (indirectly) fund its acquisitions and operations with federally-subsidized deposits. If you run an independent aluminum company or fast food franchise do you want to have to compete with a federally-subsidized rival?
Romney has decided to campaign as the anti-Obama. The two anti-the-other-guy strategies fit with a ton of negative advertising that's just begun but will reach mammoth proportions after Labor Day. Much of it will be financed by super PACs and by political fronts already taking in hundreds of millions of dollars in secret donations. Romney's camp hopes to out-negative Obama by almost two to one. So whatever happens on Election Day, the next president will have to contend with two handicaps. The public won't have endorsed any new ideas or bold plans, which means he won't have a clear mandate to do anything on the economy. The only thing the public will have decided is it fears and distrusts the other guy more. Which means the winner will also be burdened by almost half the electorate thinking he's a scoundrel or worse.