Since his first spectacular debate performance, Mitt Romney seems to have turned a corner. Up till that debate, he was largely viewed as an uninspiring, underdog with only the slightest chance to unseat a powerful and still somewhat popular incumbent President. But since that debate, an incredible number of Americans apparently go a good first, real look at Romney and what they seem to have found is that the Mormon, former Republican Governor from Massachusetts is not the evil and indecisive, flip-flopping, robber baron, extremist that the Obama campaign has tried to define him as in nearly $300 million in negative ads. Instead, many of those Americans who were once undecided walked away from that first debate seeing a successful, decisive, rational, principled man who has an understanding of the problems that we face and a unique ability to address those problems and do what President Obama has not been able to do…. turn things around. The debate which led to that impression now looks to have decisive defining moment in a campaign that up till then was Barack Obama’s to lose.It is a sign that many Americans are truly not happy with the job President Obama has done. But Americans are also typically reluctant to replace their presidents. Which is why most incumbents win reelection. But when a challenger can can come off presidential, it makes reluctant voters easier to picture the new face of that challenger in the Oval Office, thereby making them more open to replacing one President with another.
In that debate, Mitt Romney came off as being presidential, while President Obama came off as a man struggling to keep his head above water. For many American voters, that debate was a first impression of Mitt Romney and the importance of his impressive performance in that debate was rooted in the fact that first impressions are lasting impressions. And so far, that impression Romney created in the first debate is lasting.
Which leads us to the picture of Mitt and Ann Romney in the upper left corner of this post.
It was a photo taken of Mitt and Ann Romney as they made their way to last night’s annual Alfred E. Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. I chose to present this photo to you because it typifies the grace and dignity of Mitt and Ann Romney. It is a grace and dignity that seems to emanate from the two quite naturally. It is also a dignity and grace that is quite helpful in this presidential election. Those two qualities are helping to make Mitt Romney look as presidential as his policy proposals are. And it is a sharp contrast to the less dignified pop culture image that President Obama often tried to focus on.
Instead of dancing with Ellen or holding beer summits, Mitt Romney seems more focussed on the type of dignified role that President’s should be playing. That combined with his solid, successful business background and record of getting the job done in Massachusetts, all adds to the impression of a person who people can feel confident in. Which brings us to another contrast between the President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Confidence is something that most Americans lack in Barack Obama. Between broken promises, failed policies, and an alarmingly ambiguous foreign policy that is yielding more questions than answers, when compared to the impressions offered by Mitt Romney, despite an almost arrogant quality possessed by Barack Obama’s, he is not instilling a sense of confidence in most Americans. It is the same lack of confidence that Americans had in Jimmy Carter when they rejected him in favor of Ronald Reagan, another figure in American history who demonstrated a natural dignity and grace that made it easy for Americans to imagine him as their President.
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