Mr. Romney, "Don't settle for being a Monday morning quarterback to President Obama."
Instead of picking apart what President Obama did wrong or failed to do during his term in office, what I -- and I think many others -- would like to hear from you is what you would have done differently than the president right out of the gate had you been elected in 2008.
We all know what President Obama did and failed to do, his successes and his failures, and we all know that hindsight -- and the vantage and advantage for a challenger -- is 20/20.
What would help me decide on your candidacy is for you to imagine that you were elected in 2008 and then to spell out the economic, domestic and foreign policies you would have pushed for and why -- on each of those.
Following that I would like for you to let the public make up their minds on how such initiatives would have played out. Would they have been any more successful than the president's, given all the forces and variables within and outside of America that are and were beyond his control?
For instance, what would your economic policy and program have been if you had been president in 2008, and what do you think would have been the result of it with regard to growth, budget deficits, jobs and foreign trade balance? And what is your evidence that what you think would have been the result of those decisions would actually be the result? Give us an explanation of why what you would have done would have worked.
If what you lay out in this exercise circa January, 2008 looks as if it was reasonable (i.e., makes sense) and realistic (i.e., likely to actually work), and would be fair to all of the stakeholders it would impact and be doable by all the people required to execute it. And if/when you lay out your alternate "presidency," you make a compelling and convincing case for why your solutions would have been more successful than President Obama's, then you might actually earn my vote.
If however the plan you would have laid out in 2008 would not appear to the majority of Americans to leave us "better off than we were" (to use your oft-used words), then I think this throws into question whether you would be any better than President Obama going forward.
It's much easier to poke holes in what has been done than to put yourself on the line with how you plan to fix things going forward.