EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 13, 2012

Column: Pros and cons on presidential candidates as election nears

The endgame nears! So does mental exhaustion — for everyone.

We lurch from debate to debate, poll to poll, leaked video to calamity overseas. One day we decide we’ll settle for Obama. The next, we’re leaning toward rolling the dice and taking a chance on Romney.

As we ponder how little we know about how GOP candidate Mitt Romney would govern in the White House, or exactly what President Barack Obama would do if we give him another four years, let’s take a look at the pros and cons for each man. We’ll try to shed the hype and negativity saturating each campaign.

Pros on Romney: He was an effective governor of Massachusetts. Although he vetoed hundreds of bills (most overridden by a Democratic-controlled legislature), he persuaded key Democrats to help him push through landmark legislation to give many more residents of Massachusetts health insurance.

He salvaged the Salt Lake City Olympics and raised enough money to keep the facilities at Park City, Utah, maintained for the training of hundreds of athletes for years to come.

He is by nature a results-oriented businessman and pragmatist who wants to solve problems. And this country has plenty of problems.

Cons on Romney: He disavowed his health-care plan after it became the model for Obama’s plan. He wrongly said in the first debate that his plan would cover pre-existing conditions and children up to age 26, as Obama’s plan would do. Romney’s would not.

The moderate Romney was hidden so long that we really don’t know what he thinks about such issues as abortion rights and gay rights and a myriad other controversial social issues. His oafish comments about not bothering about the 47 percent of Americans who don’t have to pay federal taxes remain stunning especially for a man who pays only 13 percent in federal taxes.

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