Presidential primaries have a purpose. They test the candidates’ ability to face the opposition in the general election. Whatever is thrown at you by your own team usually pales in comparison to the abuse you receive from your opponents. Unfortunately, what some Republicans are throwing at Mitt Romney, last Monday’s Republican debate notwithstanding, is way off base.
Romney is receiving criticism principally on his efforts to reform the health insurance system in Massachusetts while he was Governor. By now, Romney has refined his response without pointing fingers at his successor, liberal Democrat Deval Patrick, who enacted changes that made the program far more costly and less effective. All of this reproof is pointless because Romney has no intention of replicating it on a federal level, nor would he have to appease a legislature overwhelmingly comprised of left-wing Democrats.
Mr. Romney has clearly stated that he will order his Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue exemptions from ObamaCare to all fifty states; meaning that the only individuals subject to this horribly misguided legislation and its crushing regulations will be the residents of Washington D.C. Frankly, that’s quite fitting. He’s also confirmed that he fully intends to work toward repeal of ObamaCare. What more can you ask of the man?
Romney is also accused with being short on charisma. Are we electing a President or head television huckster? We’ve already elected a hollow orator, but he’s a little short on the more vital Presidential qualities -- starting with leadership. Romney has been proven to be an effective leader in both private industry and the public arena. For example, he averted a major national embarrassment by stepping in to professionally manage the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. He not only administered operations of the Olympics, but tactfully and sensitively worked with both the international community and the IOC. America needs an experienced leader who can get things done -- not just smile and hope.
Some critics dismiss him because of his unsuccessful candidacy in 2008. It brings to memory Ronald Reagan, who spent the years 1976 to 1979 gathering support for his 1980 Presidential run. Like Reagan, Romney has spent the past three years building relationships, supporting other Republican candidates, and raising money – all in preparation for his formal announcement. This is the tried and true path to the White House. When we select inexperienced newcomers, we often end up with failures such as Carter and …
Republicans yearn for another Reagan. Alas, there will never be another Reagan any more than there will be another John Wayne, Babe Ruth or Marilyn Monroe. But Romney provides something that no other Republican candidate can deliver. He can dismantle Obama without offending voters. He reeks of nice. When Reagan destroyed Carter, he reeked of nice. There was no nasty side to Reagan and there’s no nasty side to Romney. Swing voters like that -- a lot, and, while he may not be as funny or charismatic as Reagan, when he’s put on stage with Obama he will appear Presidential to the vast majority of Americans. Likeability is important in a President; and, in that aspect, Romney beats Obama hands down.
Some pundits are overlooking the importance of Romney’s fundraising ability. Certainly we’ve seen presidential candidates who have raised a ton of money only to crash with the voters – Governor John Connally being the most famous example. But Connally ran into a buzz saw in 1980 against Reagan. Romney, on the other hand, has built a loyal group of supporters far beyond his personal and professional circle for a very good reason – people believe not only that he’s the best candidate, but that he can unseat Obama. Political donations are more than the mother’s milk of politics; they are an affirmation of the strength of the candidate. Obama was only taken seriously in 2007 when he was able to raise large amounts of money.
You may not agree with everything he says or stands for, but think of a person with whom you do. Romney will be fiscally responsible and restore the integrity of the United States around the world. He will honor our friends, not our enemies. Other candidates might be able to do these things, but few have both the Reaganesque smile and the steely spine to back it up.
Whether or not Mitt Romney is your favorite candidate he would make a wonderful President. So stop picking on him.