Romney versus Obama

CAMBRIDGE – While the presidential primary elections in the United States are not over, Mitt Romney is now almost certain to be the party’s nominee to face Democratic President Barack Obama in November.

As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney built a record as a competent and moderate conservative, a political profile that suited him to the state’s electorate. But the Republican Party’s far right wing dominates the primaries, so Romney has worked hard to escape the “moderate” label by staking out very conservative positions. Now, as the party’s presumptive nominee, he must move back toward the political center, where the majority of voters are to be found.

So which is the real Mitt Romney? And how can voters judge the two candidates?

Obama has a proven track record, albeit one that has disappointed many who voted for him in 2008. Of course, his supporters argue that he had to adapt to two ongoing wars and the worst recession since the 1930’s. Moreover, after the 2010 mid-term elections, a hostile Republican-controlled House of Representatives blocked his initiatives.