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On Economics

With no time to catch his breath, Mr. Obama designed and won approval for a stimulus bill that slowed job loss and helped restore confidence. He engineered a rescue of the auto industry. The steady experts he put in charge of economic policy, notably Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, navigated between the Democratic Party’s left, which urged populist measures that would have been expensive and ineffectual, and an obstructionist Republican Party, which at times seemed content to inflict great harm on the country. The industrial-policy element of the recovery plan, favoring high-speed rail where it’s not needed and electric cars that consumers won’t buy, wasted a lot of money. But on balance the administration, working with the Federal Reserve, succeeded in its core mission. The rebound of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 6,626 in March 2009 to above 13,000 today is no comfort to the many Americans who remain unemployed or poorer than before the crisis. But it reflects a recovery of the faith upon which every economy depends.
Foreign Policy
Mr. Romney has criticized that record, often persuasively. But his policy prescriptions — on Afghanistan, Iran and Syria, to name three — hardly differ. Neither he nor his running mate has foreign-policy experience. And his unscripted moments have not inspired confidence: calling Russia America’s greatest foe, for example, or delivering intemperate outbursts while the United States was trying to negotiate an exit for a human rights activist in China or when its diplomats in the Middle East came under attack. Mr. Romney has offered no evidence that he would do better in the world.
By contrast, the president understands the urgency of the problems as well as anyone in the country and is committed to solving them in a balanced way. In a second term, working with an opposition that we hope would be chastened by the failure of its scorched-earth campaign against him, he is far more likely than his opponent to succeed. That makes Mr. Obama by far the superior choice.

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