Mitt Romney is back on the political map

In 2008, I strongly supported Romney.  I liked his cheerful attitude (somewhat Reaganesque, although he clearly lacks the Great Communicators verbal abilities); I loved the fact that, in both the public and private sector, he has an incredible track record of being effective; and I really appreciated his money savvy.  I agree with many that he made a huge mistake when he oversaw Massachusett’s socialized medicine plan, and I think he would do himself a favor right now, today, if he would admit that he learned from the experience and won’t make that mistake again.

Well, Romney’s back again.  No one doubts that he was one of the quiet forces behind Scott Brown’s overwhelmingly successful campaign, and he’s now trying to be a force behind his own political resurgence.  The time may well be right for him.  In a time of continuing economic disaster, his financial history is going to be very useful.

I also suspect that his Mormonism won’t be as much of a problem today as it was in 2008.  Between a socialist with Muslim leanings who clearly dislikes America and wants to debase it, and a solid capitalist Mormon who is tremendously patriotic, some people are just going to have to hold their noses for the good of the nation.  If Mitt is making a religious error, he’ll have to answer to God — although I firmly believe (because I have to) that God is forgiving of those who live righteous lives even if they get entangled in the wrong doctrine.

On this doctrinal point, I’m not alone in my thinking.  The great Christian scholar, C.S. Lewis, thought so too.  In his book The Last Battle, which envisions an apocalyptic battle between the Christian West (the Narnians, who worship the lion Aslan) and the Muslim East (the Calormenes, who worship Tash), Lewis envisions how Aslan would receive a righteous Calormene on the day of judgment.  Here speaks the Calormene, who has been taught that Aslan and Tash are one, questioning Aslan on the subject:

I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one?  The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false.  Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou has done to him.  For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be dome to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him.  Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him.  And if any man do a curelty in my name, then, thought he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.

At this moment in political time (and political time changes with unusual rapidity), Romney is head and shoulders above many, if not most, who are currently on the scene.  He is certainly leagues away from the current White House occupant when it comes to experience, judgment, instinct, skills, and love for his country.  I wish him well in his political pursuits.

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  • Larry Sheldon

    The big problem for me is his fondness for big government, socialized medicine and a host of other things I don’t want to have happen.

  • Oldflyer

    I like Romney.  I really have some problems understanding the almost knee-jerk objections to him.  In a way he is like Sarah; too good looking, too upbeat.  Unlike Sarah, no one can say he is lacking in intellectual breadth, and “gravitas”.  (I use that word “tic” as I have come to hate it.)  He has proven his competence in more than one venue.  I believe he is an ethical and honorable man.  I do not care anymore about his religion than I did JFK’s.  The only religious objections I would ever have for a President is toward a Muslim (and it may be too late for that) or an avowed  Atheist; because I fear that either would try to dismantle our essential Judeo-Christian heritage.  The one that does not require any individual to be religious.   Isn’t that  the beauty?

    I know Republicans are suspicious.  However, we have big government; we are always going to have big government.  That train has left the station, ship has left the dock, jet is wheels up.  Pick your cliche.  The best we can hope for is sensible restrictions on government; recognition of its limitations, and competent management of what they try to do.  If government can control itself and not try to micro-manage our lives, that will be  a step forward from what we have in 2010.    I hate typing that.  But, ignoring facts, won’t change anything.

    We may be able to do better than Romney.  That remains to be seen.  But, I know we can do a lot worse.

  • Marguerite

    I was sorry to read last week that Romney does not apologize for his health care decisions in Mass.  I would like to hear him apologize.  In spite of that I do like him better than anyone at this point, as I did last go round.  I love what he said about religion:  “Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom and religion endure together or perish alone.”  That’s as close as I can come to his words. 

  • expat

    My sticking point for a candidate is foreign policy.  Romney’s experience has made him aware of what is happening in the world, and he stands up for America. There are certainly interesting young people out there, but most seem to have focussed on local and national issues. Right now, Romney  has the broadest experience.

  • suek

    One thing Romney lacks is pzazz.
    I could see Romney/Palin…
    She gives pzazz,  he’s got the gravitas and connections.
    His record in Massachusetts gives me pause as well, by the way.  If I thought there was someone else, I’d rather.  I don’t like Pawlenty’s record, I think Jindal has a natural born problem, and to be honest, I don’t care much for Huckaby’s record either.  Too many not especially conservative conservatives out there.
    Who have I overlooked?

  • David Foster

    Listening to Romney speak about the economy a couple of years ago, I didn’t get the impression that he had the gift of making these issues understandable and vivid. To many people, I’m afraid it came across pretty much as abstractions and catch-phrases.

  • eric-odessit

    This is only slightly off topic.  Romney came 2nd in the CPAC poll of potential Presidential candidates.  Palin was 3rd.  The 1st was Ron Paul.  To me that’s a bit scary.  I can agree with Paul on some domestic policy issues, but his foreign policy views are not to far from Obama’s.  Are we sliding back to isolationism?

  • Larry Sheldon

    That just tells you the Paul Poll Packers still take orders.
    The question is–would any of them have voted some other was if allowed to?

  • expat

    I think the present economic situation could make it easier for Romney to communicate now. For instance, he could promise not to introduce more uncertainty for businesses and to oppose incoherent, often contradictory, untested  grand schemes. He could point the way forward on energy policy, again emphasizing coherence and smaller testable steps toward environmental responsibilty and energy sufficiency.  There are so many frightening topics swimming about that I doubt whether people want to hear more about details of economic policy. They really want someone knowledgeable, measured, and commonsensical to end the screeching confusion. Romney probably could do this, which is not to say he will.

  • Mike Devx

    Expat says,
    There are so many frightening topics swimming about that I doubt whether people want to hear more about details of economic policy. They really want someone knowledgeable, measured, and commonsensical to end the screeching confusion. Romney probably could do this, which is not to say he will.

    I think you’re right that Romney has the measured and steady communication skills to do that, and the question is will he.  Mastering the bully pulpit seems critical these days for an effective President.  If Romney can’t do that, he’s far better off being in the Cabinet.

    Clinton and especially Obama are superior users of the “slick” communication skills of a politician.   When Obama says, “let me be perfectly clear”, I settle in for a careful session of listening to him deliver: “I’m going to lie to you now, in ways that are smooth and almost hypnotic, saying one thing but making sure each of you hears what you want to hear, not what I’m really saying.”  Slick, slick, slick… when he pulls it off.  On the campaign trail, with the help of the teleprompter, he succeeded more often than not.

    I’m sure there’s plenty of video out there of Obama giving endlessly contradictory 2008 campaign promises, and making similar such contradictory statements in further such speeches since then – that can be juxtaposed into a damning critique for 2012.  And you couple that to a juxtaposition – on video – of what he and has Administration have actually done – or tried to do – and I think you could convince middle America – that 40 % in the middle – what a charlatan and snake oil salesman he is.

  • Earl

    @ Mike:  Can you explain to me why, with all the material currently at hand, the GOP isn’t producing one tape after another of Obama on health care, Dem senators on 60 vs. 51 votes, etc. etc. etc.
    The Republicans are just lame right now….and I don’t see anyone with their head above the parapet, taking actual shots at the opposition.
    It’s all rather discouraging, actually.

  • Mike Devx

    Earl, I’ve got no explanation.  Perhaps the national GOP knows what they are doing, just laying low.  To these eyes and ears, though, it just looks like more of the same.
    I think they have yet to learn how to mount effective video campaigns.  And I still claim that video is where the game is at.  Releasing press statements – in text – seems lame, ludicrous and ineffective to me, in this day and age.   (Our Book here is heavy on the text, too, but Book does a marvelous job mixing in videos and graphs, etc, too – but you notice how many of us regular visitors here are voracious readers?  I suspect we’re not the usual audience on the Web.  But Book is Book! And this *is* the bookwormroom, after all!  :-)     Her delightful oasis of peace among the madness and mayhem of the Web.
    Propaganda doesn’t comprise just the skillful manipulation of an audience via lies and deception.  Propaganda can be truthful, in the sense that you design your message to get your point across with skillful use of the medium, involving the viewer in your presentation and doing your best to convince them that your point of view represents reality.  The national GOP should have a video production office, working on this, generating videos involving House and Senate members, learning to intersperse shots of them with other video excerpts and graphs, etc, creating compelliing presentations.  Learning and getting better at it.  Because I think the time will come soon where they’ll need to be good at it.  And I think they’re way behind the curve, especially when the MSM is so good at this, and they’re controlling the message to middle America.

  • Mike Devx

    As a case in point for my prior post, look at how AndrewKlavan is doing it, with his “Klavan on the Culture” video shorts.  He’s getting better and better.  That’s how you do it.  They’re involving and enjoyable!  The GOP could be working at  doing exactly the same thing.  He’d be a great model for them to follow.

  • Earl

    @Mike:  In today’s culture, you are absolutely right — it’s video or nothing!  I abhor the truth of that, but it *is* the truth, so the GOP had better get good at it or they’re going to be run over.
    However, I’m with you in my suspicion that the honchos in the national Republican party just don’t get it.  They appear to still be in “McCain mode”, thinking that a. they can actually be “bipartisan” with the Dems without being rolled,  b. a bit of “Dem-lite” is what the country really needs, or c. getting invited to the best parties and having the press say good things about you is more important than governing the country for the benefit of its citizens rather than its politicians.
    You choose.

  • suek

    If the choice is between “Dem” and “Dem-Lite”, I’ll take the light version.  Still – I’d rather have the “full Monty”…it’s just that getting the real thing elected is pretty darn difficult.  Partly because the Dems have no honor, and are very good at appealing to that segment of the population that doesn’t want to deal with facts and really think they can get something for nothing.

  • Larry Sheldon

    I’ll have to say that if we are going to have socialist programs, I want the (D- after the names.
    I am tired of people telling me “Well, you Republicans…..years….didn’t….”
    If there are republican things (cut spending, cut spending or cut spending, for example), (R- is a good thing to have after the names.
    Another good thing would involve small government, or minimal intrusion.

  • suek

    You have a point.
    As I posted a week or so ago, Glenn Beck’s show on the Progressives was enlightening, as I had sort of delegated all of them to the Dem party.  He demonstrated – to my satisfaction, as least – that we have them in the GOP as well, which is why we keep moving in that direction.  The GOP members just want to get there a bit slower.
    Actually, the Dems might be doing us a favor.  They might be forcing us to a watershed moment when we’ll have to make a decision as to whether we’ll be the Capitalist country that made us great, or the Socialists of European standards.  I’m not sure I know which direction we’ll go.