While political conventions are fun, I am looking forward to the debates, and would like to see Gov. Mitt Romney asked the following questions:
1. You once claimed to be pro-choice and now say you are pro-life. Should Roe vs. Wade be overturned -- yes or no? Followup: What is the reason for your dramatic shift in positions on the issue of a woman's right to have an abortion?
2. You have similarly changed your views on the issue of same-sex marriage. Why? What rights would you extend to individuals of the same-sex who want to enter a lifelong relationship?
3. If you were governor of Massachusetts today, would you support the health care bill you proposed and enacted when you were governor, with an individual mandate as an essential part of the financing mechanism? And if it makes sense for a state, why does the same logic not apply to the entire nation, putting aside any views you may have about federal versus state power.
4. Had you been sworn in as president in January 2009, when we were losing about 800,000 jobs per month, what emergency economic measures would you have asked Congress to enact? If a stimulus were part of your package, how would it have differed in size and allocation, from that which President Obama asked Congress to enact?
5. Had you been president in fall 2008, would you have asked Congress to provide emergency financing for the banks? If so, pursuant to what conditions?
The reality is that the speeches we are hearing at the Republican and Democratic conventions frame policy differences in a general way but must be parsed by rigorous examination of the candidates. That will be the true test.