I will be proud to vote for Mitt Romney tomorrow because I agree with Romney's plans to restore America's economic and military strength; his support for human life; and his understanding of what makes America great. In fact, I have long liked Mitt Romney (for amusement value, here's one of my blog posts about him from January, 2008!). For just about as long, I have distrusted Barack Obama's agenda, character, and plans for the country. I would vote for almost anyone (John McCain again, even!) just because I believe President Obama's impact on the country has been incredibly destructive in so many ways -- economically, militarily, and in the worsening tone and tenor of our political culture. He needs to go.
But over the last few months, I have become an ardent Romney supporter -- not just because of opposition to President Obama, not just out of a purely rational calculus that, of the Republican field, he was the best choice to lead our country at this time -- but because I have come to feel a profound sense of admiration, respect and even affection for Mitt Romney as a person. It's because of his character.
I'm not alone. Here are two sample Facebook comments on an item highlighting Peggy Noonan's piece (posted by a "Facebook friend" who works in the press, and thus has many "friends" that he may or may not know). One commenter, a man, wrote this:
A person who is helping him who is not a longtime Romneyite told me, yesterday: “I joined because I was anti Obama—I’m a patriot, I’ll join up But now I am pro-Romney.” Why? “I’ve spent time with him and I care about him and admire him. He’s a genuinely good man.”
Looking at the crowds on TV, hearing them chant “Three more days” and “Two more days”—it feels like a lot of Republicans have gone from anti-Obama to pro-Romney.
Another, a woman, commented as follows:
I feel like all of you here. I was NOT a huge Romney fan but was committed to support him - well, just because. I didn't think he was a horrible choice, but was buying into the whole "he doesn't have enough charisma" meme. It wasn't until his Ryan pick and the first debate that I really sat up and took notice. Then I thought (and told this to my mother, who still insists on being an Eeyore) that Romney didn't get where he did in the business world by being a mealymouthed pushover. And I LOVE his positive outlook on America. I predict that under a President Romney we won't be hearing about how he "inherited" so many problems. He'll be too busy trying to solve those problems to complain about their origin. Go Mitt!
Since he first came on the national political scene in 2008, I have thought Mitt Romney was a smart man (and, yes, a really, really handsome one!). I've appreciated his business acumen, and his record of achievement. But I have come to hope -- not just that Obama will be out -- but that Mitt Romney will be leading this country.
Here are some of the things that won my heart. (NB: No, they are not the reasons I am voting for him -- but they are some of the reasons I am enthusiastic about voting for him!).
Remember how Mitt Romney faithfully visited the terminally ill son of Ted and Pat Oprowski?
Remember how he shut down Bain Capital to find his colleague's daughter (and succeeded)?
How about the way he loaned a couple the money to buy the house of his they were renting when they couldn't get a mortgage?
Or thousand other unsung acts of human kindness -- the playground he personally helped build in honor of a little boy who died of cystic fibrosis, or the single mom to whom he took firewood when her heating oil was shut off, or the young woman (whose father, a Bain colleague of Romney's who died when she was five) he sent to medical school?
I like the way he handled President Obama in the debates. The contrast couldn't have been more obvious.
He didn't stoop to petty condescension, insults or nastiness. He stuck to the issues. That's the kind of man I want as the leader of this country full of big-hearted, decent people; that's a man I can to hold up to my children as an example of how public figures should behave. He understands that being President isn't about him; it's about what's best for America and her people.
I like the way he seems touched and humbled by the support for him -- rather than acting as though adulation is his due.
Finally, I love seeing the obvious affection his sons have for him:
and I really, really love the way he and his wife look at each other.
As I noted above, these are not the only reasons I am voting for him. I believe his policies and his vision for America are the right ones. But beyond that, his character is the reason I am proud and excited to cast my ballot tomorrow for Mitt Romney.