Mitt Romney had challenges to tackle in his speech accepting the Republican Party's nomination Thursday night: Romney has, by and large, struggled to charm most voters; and his economic proposals have been limited to tired old trickle-down economics that have failed time and again.
Romney does not connect with most people who are put off by his aura of wealth, his well-coifed hair and tales of car elevators. His economic plan suggests that Romeny's leadership will be better for his ultra-wealthy peers than most Americans.
Anything he said has to be viewed in the context of a third problem: Romney's record shows he will say whatever he thinks voters want hear even if that means reversing course completely. Romney has given voters no reason to believe that anything he says now will matter after election day.
In his speech, Romney tried to convince Americans that he has a plan to create 12 million jobs by promoting energy independence, establishing new trade agreement, cutting taxes and updating business regulations.
"Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us, to put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations, to forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be," Romney said. "Now is the time to restore the promise of America."
Gas is at $3.79. It was $1.80 when Obama was elected.
When Obama took office the unemployment rate was 7.9 percent. The jobless rate in July was at 8.3 percent and rising in many places across the country.
Only 56 percent of Americans laid off from January 2009 through December 2011 had found jobs by the start of this year. More than half of them took jobs with lower pay. One-third took pay cuts of 20 percent or more.
Disappointment over the failures of President Barack Obama's first term will do more to inspire voters to support Romney than anything Romney says or does.
That may bode well for Romney and his supporters. It is a sad state of affairs when the choice presented voters is between the unknown and untruthful quantity and the known failure. Both candidates have some convincing to do and about 60 days in which to do it. Let's keep listening.