Sunday, January 13, 2013

Romney, I Loved You But. . .

Governor Mitt Romney:

You had a great resume in the private sector.

You ran for the United States senate in 1994 against Ted Kennedy. You told the Massachusetts everything that they wanted to hear, yet you still lost by double-digits. You told voters in 2012 that you knew that you were not going to win. Why run for something if you do not believe that you can win? This self-defeating habit is quite pervasive in your political career.

You saved the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, then you ran for Governor in the Bay State, where you won. You ran Massachusetts as a centrist Republican governor. There is nothing wrong with centrist positions in the GOP, provided that you endorse those values out of principle instead of convenience.You vetoed 800 bills from the supermajority Democratic legislature. You refused to endorse embryonic stem cell research. You invited businesses to come back and reinvest. You refused to raise taxes.

You raised capital with Bain Capital. You saved businesses and you staged a staggered and measured closure for failing businesses which did not stand a chance of recovering. Most Americans in this country are adults, and they will understand that not every business survives, that the free market gives consumers the free choice to buy and sell where they choose, and businesses succeed or fail in response to their response to the market.

You ran for President in 2008. Frankly, I supported you instead of McCain, who was a troubled maverick and a troublesome moderate. He picked on your centrist record in Massachusetts, yet you said nothing. Still, I and the rest of the Republican grassroots preferred you to McCain up until the Arizona senator won the nomination and lost the general election.

Come 2012, you were running for President again. But you really did not want to be President. Your won son admitted as much shortly after the November election. There is nothing wrong with that. But plenty of other people wanted to be President, and your status as the Republican Establishment's "next-in-line" hurt other candidates' chances of running for office.

Your middling run for President hurt a lot of other nationwide candidates. Your attempt to play leader and rebuff Todd Akin in Missouri hurt you and the rest of the party more than everyone else.

Your heart was not in it, and many voters were disheartened with the choices before them. Four more years of Obama was bad, but four years of a flip-flop moderate who played to the too-far right without any principle beyond "I am not Obama"  discouraged too many voters.

Governor Romney, it's your fault that the GOP lost in November 2012. Not the gifts, not the 47%, not an entitlement mentality among "1%" elites and welfare queens, but a mixed messenger who felt that he "had" to run, yet never should have.

The Republican brand is neither tarnished nor burdened because of policy, but because of the one person who never should have been nominated, whom the supermajority of voters resisted until the last minute.

Romney, I loved you when you had the nomination, when you were coasting at two or three points above President Obama in different polls for the swing states. You even did remarkably well in the first debate against President Obama, who had nothing to say because he had done nothing but make matters worse. The next two debates you played defense, hoping to ride out the clock which all too often ticks in favor of the incumbent. The third debate was devastating.

Governor Romney, I forgive you. You had your head in the right place, I suppose, but your heart was not ready for the part. Do not ever run again for President again. Stay at home, raise your grandkids, and make lots of money, bet let someone else run for office, someone who wants to run, someone who knows what he believes, and believes what he knows.

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