Waiting Time in Iowa

Written by David Frum on Tuesday January 3, 2012

I attended Romney's closing rally last night in Des Moines. Very professionally done, introduction by Senator John Thune.

Three themes really stood  out:

* Romney opened with a statement about the danger from Iran. Without mention of Ron Paul, it astutely poked at the top vulnerability of the second-polling candidate here.

* He took a very tough line on China. While some express skepticism about the genuineness of Romney's concern on this issue, I was struck by the specificity of his complaints: computer hacking, currency manipulation. He's evidently thought about this issue. He's no protectionist obviously, but he seems to have gained some skepticism about China's so-called peaceful rise.

* Romney opened his critique of President Obama by acknowledging that Obama inherited a tough economy. This fair-mindedness may disenthrall base voters, but it eschews the angry paranoia that has put off so many independent voters. Plus it has the additional merit of being true.