What was said: Mitt Romney’s campaign has launched a new ad making three promise of what he would do on “day one” if elected President.

  1. Approves the Keystone pipeline
  2. Introduces tax cuts and reforms that reward jobs creators
  3. Issues order to begin replacing Obamacare with common sense health care reform

Whom the statement is for: For what is a general election ad, all three promises are rather straight Republican orthodoxy. It would seem this far out from the general election Romney’s campaign is still more focused on trying to excite the Republican base so they rally around his candidacy. That said, this ad still works at appealing to swing voters. Of all the parts of the Republican orthodoxy, these three basic concepts tend to be the most popular with swing voters.

Did they really mean it/The record: Romney was once known as a moderate Republican (when he was the governor of Massachusetts), but he has always been a Republican. On promises one and two, wanting low taxes and regulations that favor businesses is basically what it now means to be a Republican.

The one that doesn’t fit his record is his promise to replace Obamacare, given that in Massachusetts he championed his own nearly identical law. The fact that the Affordable Care Act is remarkably similar to many past Republican plans, though, hasn’t stopped almost all prominent Republicans from developing a powerful group-think driven dislike for it. It is unlike Romney to be any different.

Likelihood it will ever actually happen: 85% if Romney wins. While it is possible some pressing emergency will require the new President to delay everything else, assuming Romney wins, it is extremely likely he will try to fulfill these three promises on day one. The campaign was smart to make them so vague and easily achievable. None of the promises require Congressional action, and what does it even mean to “introduce” tax cuts? Romney will have some tax proposals he will campaign on. There is no reason he can’t “introduce” them on day one by simply repackaging them in an official press release or letter to Congress.

The one technical problem he may have is with Keystone. He can instruct the relevant agencies to approve it on day one, but it getting officially approved might technically wait until his cabinet nominees are in place. That is mostly a meaningless distinction though.

The three promises highlight what has become the core of the Republican message in recent years: “drill, baby, drill”, lower taxes for the rich, and Obamacare is bad. If a Republican is elected President, this is exactly what we should expect he will do.