A couple of hours ago, the folks at Politico.com posted a piece on Mitt Romney, observing that he was sounding an awful lot like a 2012 presidential candidate at a recent event. I feel compelled to talk about it for a few minutes — but I’m a little tired (okay, a lot), so I cannot promise that what I want to say will actually be in English.
Now, I know that many conservatives have their misgivings about Mitt Romney and, believe me, I understand where they’re coming from. Still, everybody–misgivings or not–needs to let go of their skepticism for a moment and, at the very least, just listen.
As I’ve mentioned before, when Romney first began his bid for president in the obscenely long lead-up to last year’s election, I saw a starched-shirt and plastic-haired man who knew what he was supposed to say while running for the GOP nomination and spoke accordingly. I didn’t buy it at first, and that perception was driven and augmented by some of his pitfalls while running the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.
Over time, however, I saw in Mitt Romney a transformation. More accurately, I saw in Mitt Romney an awakening. It seemed to almost have happened overnight, and while his awakening was immediately recognizable to me, it was by no means quantifiable — and therefore is a little bit difficult to describe.
It reminded me about how, in the middle of a spirited political argument with someone, my own principles take over and I don’t have to search for words, for analogies, or for examples anymore. I love it when that happens — my breathing gets easier, my mind becomes more clear and effective, my focus sharp and my voice strong. In Romney, I saw what almost looked like a weight lifted off of his shoulders at a time when he should have been more burdened than ever. I saw a man who used to say what he needed to say, but then suddenly realized that what he was supposed to say, what he believed, and what the nation needed were all the very same thing.
Just like there are politicians on both sides of the aisle that I like, there are those that I dislike on both sides as well. In other words, it takes an awful lot more than simply mentioning Ronald Reagan in a sentence to get my attention and win my respect. Romney, to me, has become more and more impressive with each interview I see. When he talks–without a TelePrompTer, no less–I find the depth of knowledge he elicits extremely comforting in a time where comfort is scarce.
On my way home from class about three hours ago at about 10:15 p.m., for example, I found myself thinking about the unrest we’re seeing in London, about the anger, about the frustration, and about the cause. Forget for a moment that the turnout in London was significantly less than we’ve seen at tea party-type protests here at home (but with ten times the media coverage); instead, think about just how scary things could become worldwide should the global economy seem to continue in its current direction.
We need somebody with credibility, someone who has run a business, someone who knows how to turn around a troubled organization. Romney is doing exactly what he should be doing right now in this time of crisis — he’s spreading the message that there is a solution to this nightmare, and that it looks nothing like the unconstitutional drivel being put forth by the Obama administration.
Obviously, it’s far too early to even consider a vote for 2012. Still, as a conservative, I am delighted that somebody is standing up and, in the style of a likely challenger for the White House, spreading the conservative message as the tried-and-true cure to what ails our nation. As it so happens, that person right now is Mitt Romney.
I know there’s still a good deal of animosity out there. Romney, of course, really went at it with both John McCain and Mike Huckabee, and as a result many people in the corners of the latter two are still wary of the former governor. However, just like we need an all-of-the-above approach to achieving energy independence, the Republican Party needs an all-of-the-above approach to selecting the best possible nominee in 2012.