Today’s Wall Street Journal has articles from the McCain and Romney campaigns outlining the candidates’ policies. (Available without subscription: McCain article, Romney article.) I don’t have a dog in this fight (well, I do, but it’s neither McCain nor Romney), but I’m struck by the differences in style between the two columns.
The McCain column is a list of actionable steps: McCain will propose these tax changes, McCain will veto pork-laden bills, McCain wants to engage in further trade negotiations. These are actions that a president can take. Whether good policy or bad, we can see if he’s doing what he said he would do.
The Romney column promises much more: "Mr. Romney will strengthen families in America." "… he will make sure that our children have great schools …." Although the article specifically endorses tax cuts, it’s mostly generalities.
When a candidate promises grandiose results, I get nervous. I wonder: is he so stupid that he thinks he can deliver on those promises, or is he intentionally lying for political gain? In short, is he George W. Bush or Richard M. Nixon? I think I’ll vote for Tricky Dick this time round.