The Romney opportunity: The times fit the man, if he can rise to the challenge

Yet the ultimate test of any aspirant for the nation’s highest office is his power to persuade. The late Harvard political scientist, Richard Neustadt, called this power the most important asset a President has. This has never been Mr. Romney’s strong suit, yet he will need to call on that ability more than ever against the clever, often dishonest charms of Mr. Obama.

Above all, this means taking the economic and tax fight head-on. The Obama campaign clearly believes it can beat Mr. Romney by defining him as a plutocrat who wants to cut taxes for his cronies. And it will prevail if Mr. Romney betrays a guilty conscience or fails to make the pro-growth and moral case for his laudable tax reform…

The broader point is that Mr. Romney has to fight cheerfully on the same moral high ground that Mr. Obama likes to claim as his own. If the Republican only argues the practical facts, the President’s moral assertions will prevail despite his abysmal record and the harm it has done to so many people.