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Endorsement: Romney deserves presidency

The presidency is the ultimate job test. Do a good job in the first term and Americans usually will reward a president by re-electing him to a second. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has made a convincing case that President Barack Obama has not earned a second term. More importantly, Romney has emerged as a competent, qualified challenger who clearly is up to the job of returning the nation to pre-recession prosperity, job creation and restored status on the world stage.

Obama inherited an economic mess not of his making. The collapse that was under way when he took office nearly four years ago had its genesis during the administration of President George W. Bush. But that was more than four years ago. Since then, the president has presided over a recovery from recession that is the slowest in modern times. He can try to blame the situation on his predecessor, but that argument no longer has credibility.

Romney has resumés from the private sector and from government that underscore his success and confirm his ability. Unlike the lunatics on the tea-party right, Romney grasps the value of a proper balance between government and the private sector. He's lived it all his life. His accomplishments in state government, as an Olympics executive and in business reveal a world view that is based in experience, compromise, risk-taking and extraordinary successes.

Obama promised a "post-partisan" presidency. While he faced a hostile Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, he did little to moderate the hostility. He failed to build relationships and alliances with key Democrats in Congress. He tried to ram his agenda down their throats without the consultation even Democrats demand of their president. When he was successful with his signature accomplishment -- the byzantine Affordable Care Act -- his support in the country eroded.

Neither candidate has provided sufficient details about how he would reduce the debt and deficit, where he would cut military and entitlement spending, or how he would confront foreign crises. That is not a surprise because the campaigns are ready to pounce on details. So don't expect any.

But the nation desperately needs restoration of economic confidence, stability and predictability. The Obama agenda has offered the opposite, and the result is economic doldrums.

Romney has a history of accomplishment, even in the face of political opposition (in Democratic Massachusetts). If he wins, he likely will have to work with a Democratic majority in the Senate and a somewhat smaller Republican majority in the House. He is equipped by political ideology and experience to do it.

Obama promised hope and change. He's delivered malaise. Romney promises he'll make the hard choices to steady the nation's listing economic ship. He has a history of getting big jobs done.

Americans need new leadership in the White House. Romney is the right man at the right time.

Editor's note: This endorsement reflects the opinion of Forum Communications, parent company of the Bulletin.