I think Romney and maybe even most Republicans are underestimating the difficulty of persuading conservatives, evangelicals and libertarians, let alone the rest of the country, to vote for Romney, despite the prospect of the sultan of socialist swing's remaining in the Oval Office. General election apathy and depression in the fall could take their toll.
It doesn't take a political scientist to see that if liberals such as former President Jimmy Carter say they would be "comfortable" with Romney, conservatives, evangelicals, libertarians and others are going to have a gigantic struggle rallying around Romney. But if he would take the following course of action, they might find backing him much more palatable.
Enough talk. The idea is this, and it is not my idea but the action of President Abraham Lincoln.
A book that highlights Lincoln's brilliant action is titled "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian. In addition to topping charts and receiving scholarly acclaim, the book itself is political genius and outlines the crucial strategy needed not only to rally the present GOP base but also to win the White House and save our republic. (I also wrote about this unifying strategy in a former column, "The 8th Miracle To Save America," which can be read at http://www.creators.com/opinion/chuck-norris/the-8th-miracle-to-save-america.html.)
Goodwin's prize-winning treatise details how Lincoln brought together his candidate rivals by appointing them to key positions in his administration when he became president.
Let me re-highlight a few critical points from Goodwin's book review in The New York Times:
"The party in the 1860's was a coalition of politicians who only a few years earlier had been Whigs (Lincoln, Seward, Bates), Democrats (Blair, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and Vice President Hannibal Hamlin), Free Soilers (Chase), or had flirted with the short-lived anti-immigrant American Party, or Know Nothings (Cameron and Bates). In addition, several cabinet members personally disliked each other: Blair and Chase, Seward and Welles, Chase and Seward, Blair and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who replaced Cameron in January 1862. Lincoln's 'political genius' enabled him to herd these political cats and keep them driving toward ultimate victory.
"How did he do it? Goodwin deals with this question better than any other writer. Part of the answer lay in Lincoln's steadfastness of purpose, which inspired subordinates to overcome their petty rivalries. Part of it lay in his superb sense of timing and his sensitivity to the pulse of public opinion as he moved to bring along a divided people to the support of 'a new birth of freedom.' And part of it lay in Lincoln's ability to rise above personal slights, his talent for getting along with men of clashing ideologies and personalities who could not get along with each other."
Whether you agree with Lincoln or not, his team of rivals worked, propelled his leadership and ultimately unified the country.
Isn't our divided country again ripe for a new "team of rivals," made up of past presidential candidates and other vetted, qualified and esteemed national leaders, rather than merely a dynamic duo fighting the Obama campaign machine?
Lincoln recognized the wisdom of Jesus when it came to collective success: "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
The question is this: Will Romney?
Next week, I will not only elaborate more on this concept of a team of rivals and the people I believe should be a part of it but also share the inspiring dream Gena had, which we both hope comes true.
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