Having already left the starting gate, the Republican race for the White House continues to run down a long and bumpy track that is riddled with twists, turns, high hills, steep declines, and blind spots. The biggest blind spot of all exists among the voters. With them it seems as though the perfect candidate in 2012 is always someone else. Once it was Mike Pence, then it was John Thune. For the longest time it was Mike Huckabee and then for For awhile it was Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels and Paul Ryan. For some it’s Sarah Palin, for others it’s Chris Christie. The only problem is that none of these people have expressed a willingness to make the committment necessary to become President.
Then Texas Governor Rick Perry did make that committment. He immediately vaulted to frontrunner status as the next near perfect and everyone finally had the perfect candidate. But after one month in the race, he fell out of favor and people quickly started to again ask Chris Christie to become the perfect candidate. Now they are again turning to Mike Huckabee.
In Iowa Michele Bachmann was the perfect candidate for a while. She even won their Straw Poll. Now after her first place showing there, Mitt Romney is leading in Iowa and Herman Cain came in first in Florida.
So now, Herman Cain goes from bottom tier candidate to top tier candidate and some claim that he is now the perfect candidate. But for how long will that be?
Through it all though, there has been one candidate who ever since he entered the race, has held steady among Republican voters. He has never been seen as perfect. But he has also never been viewed as a certain loser like Ron Paul and he has never been seen as a candidate who had no chance of beating President Obama if he were the Republican nominee.
That candidate is Mitt Romney.
While Romney has been denied be seen as a strong frontrunner, since the 2008 presidential election, he has consistently been a frontrunner nonetheless. And for good reason.
While the creation of Romneycare will always make Mitt a flawed candidate, the success of Romney’s record in and out of politics, makes him without a doubt, one of the most impressive and promising candidates running. The problem is, that he is not perfect and will not ever be seen as perfect.
The greatest knocks against Romney are that he has flip-flopped on several issues including abortion, and his creation of Romneycare. But on these issues, Romney has indeed redeemed himself in many different senses.
Mitt has has remained true to his conversion from being a pro-choice Republican, to being a Right-to-Life Republican and as Governor he did the following;
- Vetoed legislation that would have provided for the “Morning After Pill” without a prescription.
- Fought to promote abstinence education in the classroom.
- Vetoed legislation that would have redefined in Massachusetts the longstanding definition of the beginning of human life from fertilization to implantation.
- Supports parental notification laws and opposed efforts to weaken parental involvement.
- Supports adult stem cell research but has opposed efforts to advance embryo-destructive research in Massachusetts and he has not supported public funding for embryo-destructive research.
On the healthcare issue, while Romney admits that his healthcare plan had some things in it that he would change, he also turns it into a powerful example of state’s rights that can be used with great strength against President Obama. But in addition to understanding that state’s should have the rights to legislate based on their own needs and desires and not a federal mandate force them in to a one size fits all federal bureaucracy, it is important to realize the biggest difference between RomneyCare and ObamaCare.
Romney proposed universal insurance, not universal health care.
The difference is critical to not only the basic thrust behind the two healtchare approaches, it is essential to ideological purity. What revolutionized the traditiona lstate health care system was that Romney’s plan attempted to empower individuals to buy and own their health insurance policies and keep these policies with them regardless of job or job status. ObamaCare goes beyond that, denying choices and creating a new humoungous federal bureaucracy that essentially allows bueraucrats to make healthcare decisions by determining what treatment Obamacare will allow one to get or deny them the opportunity to get it. According to the leading conservative policy think tank, The Heritage Foundation, Romney’s plan “made significant strides in reforming their health insurance market, and other states can learn from the Massachusetts experience.” Still it is clear that the plan leaves much to be desired.
Yet, many see the implementation of Romneycare in Massachusetts as a sign of Romney having a lack of limited government credentials and too much of a government-centric mindset. This is where those within the TEA movement have the most difficulty with Mitt.
However, not only has Romney vowed to repeal Obamacare, he has promised to provide waivers that would allow all fifty states to be exempt from Obamacare. This is a clear sign that Romney gets it. Furthermore, given the strong doubts about Romney’s limited government credentials, one should easily be able to see that Romney will have to go out of his way to lead in a way that compensates for those doubts. In other words, Romney’s hands are tied. He will have little chance for political survival if he were to employ big government policies.
So it is safe to say that Romney not only gets it, he has no choice other than practicing limited government policies.
But beyond that, Romney’s overall record as a Governor, does support his being considered a worthy conservative.
Upon taking over Beacon Hill, Romney issued an Executive Order reestablishing a Judicial Nominating Commission that reviewed resumes of applicants for state judicial positions and did so without any knowledge of the applicants race, sex, or political leanings. The process, resulted in the selection of the judges based solely upon their qualifications as responsible interpretations of the law. Furthermore; Romney appointed a chairman to the Judicial Nominating Commission that used the position to prevent the appointment of liberal activist judges who would legislate from the bench. That Romney appointee was Christopher Moore, a member of the Federalist Society, which fights against judicial activism. This helped move the courts of what is arguably one of the most liberal states in the nation, to the right.
Beyond his strict constitutionalist views, Romney has been a productive conservative on everything from illegal immigration, to economics. He has fought for lower taxes, practiced fiscal responsibility, been a longtime defender of Second Amendment rights, taken a hardline on border security, executing the War on Terror, and as Governor, he reformed government in ways that made it more efficient and effective as he cut wasteful programs, merged duplicate departments, and turned the state’s $3 billion deficit into a $700 million surplus without raising taxes.
But the most impressive example of Romney’s abilities still remain his turnaround of the 2002 Olympics in 2002.
Not only were the Olympic games a great example of his superior executive skills, as seen in the video below, it offered a great look at the character, determination, skills, positive attitude, and due diligence that is Mitt Romney. And in many ways, the Olympics of 2002 are incredibly analogous to the condition of the U.S. economy, the issue most critical to the election of a President in 2012.
In 1999 Romney took over what was a scandal-ridden Olympic organization committee that was in crisis, in debt, and in complete disarray, and turned it around by making it the most successful, well organized, and profitable Olympic games in history.
This was no easy accomplishment. Romney’s massive operation, included the oversight, management and coordination of everything from the image of the Olympics, to the construction of the Olympic Village and top notch venues for Olympians to compete in, and even what was the most secure Olympics history. After the events of 9/1/01, the Winter Olympics which took place only a few shorts month after that horror, suddenly became the place most vulnerable for terrorism in the world. With its worldwide audience, the high profile of the Salt Lake City Olympics made insuring it against acts of terror, the largest security operation of its kind . And Mitt Romney coordinated it all.
While Mitt points out that he did not do it alone, he is the person who hired the competent, committed people, that made it possible to turn the Games around and make them the most successful ever. In the end, from both a sporting and business standpoint, the 2002 Salt Lake City set broadcasting and marketing records with more than 2 billion viewers and 13 billion viewer hours. Financially, Romney’s Olympic’s turnaround raised more money with fewer sponsors than any prior Olympic Games, and left Salt Lake Olympic Committee with a surplus of $40 million at the conclusion of the games.
Given Romney’s record, while he may be flawed, there is little to suggest that he is anything but conservative. And beyond that, Mitt Romney is a by nature, a forward thinking, problem solver who does not seek quick, short term fixes. He seeks to solve problems now and avoid them in the future. He has done so be it in business or government. Such leadership is lacking in the White House today, and not easily recognizable in the existing field of Republican presidential candidates.
This is why even though Mitt Romney has essentially been running for the presidential nomination since 2008, he is not trying to come on like gangbusters. Romney’s campaign is one that is carefully pacing itself. That is why while other candidates are bouncing back and forth in the polls, Romney has remained consistently towards or at the top. All of this could ultimately mean success for Romney in the Republican presidential race. Romney’s steady position helps add to an impression of consistency, something which people like and trust.
Another thing to remember is this. With a large field of Republican candidates that consists of a number of candidates who are splitting the hardcore religious right of the G.O.P., Romney can play safe and not move so far to the right, that he turns off Independent voters in the general election. Instead he can remain, consistent and noncontroversial and benefit from a diluted concentration of a social conservative voting bloc that is divided among three or four candidates. However, this does not mean that Romney will be a moderate Republican if elected President.
Case in point. Back in 2009, I did not have a great deal of appreciation for Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie of New Jersey. I was one of those New Jersey voters who has been fed up by moderate Republicans who try to be like Democrats for the sake of political expediency in a very blue state. I had in fact favored an ardent conservative who challenged Chris Christie in a primary for Republican gubernatorial nomination. During his campaign, Christie did little to prove to me that he would be a reliable conservative and that is what I wanted in a Governor. But not long after Chris Christie was elected Governor, I began to understand that if Chris Christie’s campaign sounded as conservative as his Administration actually proved to be, there would be no Christie Administration.
So it is reasonable to say that Romney is playing politics here. Whether that is good or bad, elections are political and if you’re not willing to play politics, don’t run for election. That combined with the fact that Mitt Romney is no liberal and has a an incredible ability to lead, solve problems, and turn things around, allows me to keep the door open to him. Be it Perry, Paul, Palin, or Ryan, Daniels, or Christie, none of them are perfect and to keep waiting around for such a candidate will only get us a second term of a President who is as far from perfect as the sun is from the Earth. And I for one am not going to wait light years to bring about the change we need.
This is not an endorsement of Mitt Romney, at least not yet. But this is a reminder that Romney has given us no reason to believe that he won’t do as he says …………..
” I will press for full repeal of Obamacare, which will save hundreds of billions of dollars. I will reduce the size of the federal workforce and align the wages and benefits of federal workers with the private sector. And I will set about the hard work of fundamentally restructuring the federal government.”
If that is not good enough for many Republicans, than they can throw their vote away on Lyndon LaRouche or Ron Paul. As for myself, I believe there comes a time when one has to start differentiate the rhetoric from the facts. In doing so, I can see that Mitt Romney has a record that allows me to believe he will do what he says. While he has not yet moved me enough to endorse him, I can tell you that I have closed no door on any Republican presidential candidate. My door is open for all them to come right through and prove to me that they deserve my vote. I just hope that many Republicans will leave the door open for Mitt Romney. Not only is he the likely nominee, he is also the person who is most likely to be able to get this country back on track when 2013 rolls around.
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