Mitt Romney has decided not to pursue a third crack at the White House. My initial reaction to hearing this news was – “He wanted to run again?” It takes serious conviction to run for President at all – much less three times. I worked for a gubernatorial campaign in 2008 for three months and decided that campaigns are nothing but a bloodthirsty, soul-sucking, endless, sleepless cycle of work that can chew you up and spit you out. A campaign can jade even the most enthusiastic idealist and turn them into a cynical blogger. Campaigns are not for the meek of heart. BUT. There are those, as with any profession, (yes a career politician is unfortunately a profession), that live for this life; the constant blur of work, strategy, late nights and awful food. Its about the process not the end result . Others believe in the end goal. They believe that the campaign is a necessary means to an end which will serve a higher purpose. These candidates have a message and a vision that they believe is crucial for constituents to hear. Campaigns provide them a platform. In my opinion, Mitt Romney is the latter.
I was totally immersed in the 2012 presidential election. I’m a staunch Democrat and was rooting for Obama but Romney fascinated me. He’s was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Republican, Mormon, business tycoon, and has lots money. But it was more his personality and temperament that intrigued me. He never seemed completely comfortable. Reporters would ask him tough questions and he would respond incredulously, almost in disbelief at their criticism, but never losing his temper. In this clip a reporter accuses Romney of having lobbyists run his campaign which prompts this awkward response/interaction. Its painful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gWYWwLtW_0
Watching Romney at times is like watching a movie where the protagonist is being coached on how to talk dirty in the bedroom. Cut to the sex scene and he is repeating verbatim what he’s supposed to say to the woman and we all leave the scene feeling shortchanged. He wants people to know that he’s the right man for the job so he engages with people who bring him down with quotes. You can’t please everyone (women know if you’re reading off a script in bed). If Romney was more comfortable in his own skin he would dismiss that reporter, the far right, and sex coaches everywhere and blaze a new trail of conservatism. I honestly think he has it in him.
Don’t believe me? Watch “Mitt” the documentary that goes inside Romney’s second presidential campaign (worth watching). He’s a nice guy. He has a family and he likes to have family meals at the end of the work day. He does NOT like to cuss and he believes that savvy business and hard work can get you far in life. He is the most mild mannered, vanilla, least likely to raise his voice, controlled man I’ve ever seen in my life. Sometimes you have to let it out. People like that. Emotion can be viewed as confidence and Mitt has suffered because of this relationship in the eyes of the public. It’s unfortunate because he’s done well wherever he has gone, and it’s easy to see why. He’s smart, pragmatic, efficient, he can manage employees in the workplace, understands numbers, and he gets things done. He’s quite impressive actually. Governor of a liberal state, passed (
Obama-care) health care reform in Massachusetts, was a wildly successful businessman, ran a great Olympics in Utah, and was a worthy challenger to a sitting president running for re-election. Romney might have been the republican who transitioned this old/out of touch party in the modern era. But we’ll never know.
Romney’s problem is that he doesn’t feel comfortable with who he is. He flip-flops because gets caught between staying true to his beliefs and pandering a ultra conservative base. He tried to appease the ridiculous right wing base by pretending to be a hard line conservative when he’s not. He’s moderate. I don’t for one second believe he wants anything to do with those lunatics but was uncomfortable standing up to them. He’s like a hollywood producer who walks into a townie bar in Wooster Ohio, and tries to blend in with the crowd. I say it’s better to own where you’re from in a townie bar than try to become a local. What does he have to hide? He tried to make himself into a tough guy in the presidential debates with Obama and it worked for a little while until Obama rolled up his sleeves and started trading body shots with him. Romney doesn’t trade body shots. He does research and hires the best boxer in America to do it for him. He may get criticized for his methods by some but nobody can argue with the end results. He should have said this to us during his campaign. “You may not like my methods but I get things done. I don’t care how smarmy and elitist you think I am.” Shit! I might have voted for him.
I think Mitt Romney wants to be president badly. Badly enough to suffer through two exhausting campaigns. However, not running again is the right decision. Why go through another campaign? Why spend the money, lose the sleep, eat the shitty food, pretend to be happy in front of the people, kiss the ugly babies, and compromise your beliefs to gain the approval of a bunch of out of touch cronies who sit in ivory towers? It’s not worth it Mitt! I know you wanted it badly and I admire your conviction. But it’s not worth it. Maybe now you can apply yourself to a craft that lets you be comfortable with who you are.