Math vs. Romney’s Irrational Exuberance

Mike Allen over at Politico this morning has perhaps one of the most poignant commentaries about the state of the presidential race—two weeks out from election day.

MORNING MINDMELD: As an antidote to the (perhaps) irrational Republican exuberance that seems to have seized D.C., we pause for the following public-service announcement. To be President, you have to win states, not debates. And Mitt Romney has a problem. Despite a great debate and what The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr. on Sunday called a polling “surge,” Romney has not put away a single one of the must-have states. President Obama remains the favorite because he only needs to win a couple of the toss-ups. Mitt needs to win most of them. A cold shower for the GOP: Most polling shows Romney trailing in Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Hampshire and Iowa – by MORE than Obama trails in North Carolina. Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin reminded of us of the 2008 primary analogy: Whatever else Hillary Clinton had, Barack Obama had the math. And math, not momentum, gets you the big house, the bulletproof car, the cool plane. We now resume our regularly scheduled Playbook.

To put it in terms that a former CEO of an investment company might better understand…

The Romney/Ryan campaign’s post debate excitement seems to be a case of what former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan might call irrational exuberance. For those who don’t remember, the term was first articulated by Greenspan in a 1996 speech to the American Enterprise Institute during the Dot-com bubble of the 1990’s. The comment was interpreted as a warning that the market might be somewhat over valued.

As history shows, the warning was accurate—in fact, far more accurate than the arithmetic used by the Romney/Ryan campaign to predict their election day performance. As with the math they have used to support their tax and budget plans, their figures just don’t add up.

Their conclusions do however support—to Romney’s dismay—the need for a 100,000 new math and science teachers that President Obama has called for.