Thomas B. Edsall writes: Early in the general election campaign, Mitt Romney made it clear that he was not going to disclose the details of his plans before voters cast their ballots.
“One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education,” Mitt Romney told the Weekly Standard in an interview published April 2:
So I think it’s important for me to point out that I anticipate that there will be departments and agencies that will either be eliminated or combined with other agencies. So for instance, I anticipate that housing vouchers will be turned over to the states rather than be administered at the federal level, and so at this point I think of the programs to be eliminated or to be returned to the states, and we’ll see what consolidation opportunities exist as a result of those program eliminations. So will there be some that get eliminated or combined? The answer is yes, but I’m not going to give you a list right now.
This was a dangerous assertion. It amounted to waving a red flag in front of reporters.
With the presidential election just two weeks away, Romney’s gamble may be paying off. He has failed to specify where he would wield the budget knife, and he has defied, with a striking degree of success, the relatively quiet group of people who have called for him to honor a host of traditional disclosure and campaign practices. [Continue reading…]