Thursday, October 4, 2012

That's the Guy I Was Talking About!

I'm really trying hard to express this without sounding sarcastic or cynical. But Mitt Romney last night did really well and reminds me of why I used to like him! I did! I really liked him when he came in and saved the Salt Lake City Olympics. I liked him when he was a moderate Republican Governor of Massachusetts (even more progressive than me at the time on pro-choice and pro-gay!). And I especially liked him when he gave Ted Kennedy a run for his money in 1994!

I mean, it was really great to see a take-charge, moderate, even progressive Mormon Republican doing well. He was so outside the extreme-conservative wing of the Republican Party that I thought he was a breath of fresh air and someone I could have supported for political office had I lived in Massachusetts. And then there was his dad. I was only a kid, but George was kind of a hero as a successful, Mormon politician from Michigan, far from the Mormon homeland. And then he served honorably in the Nixon Administration - one of the few who didn't end up in jail!

So, I am honestly trying to figure out where this guy has been since 2007. I mean, I soured on the Mitt Romney who tried to out-con the neo-cons in 2008 - even fairly recently rattling the sabers for as many if not more wars than even W started. In 2008, he was even trying to be more pro-torture than Dick Cheney. And then there was that whole Republican Debate Circus thing this past year. He out-nastied the Newt, out-gaffed Gov. Perry, and I think sold more pizzas than even Herman Cain.

It might be that the debate format, one-on-one with the President, gave Romney the opportunity to show his best Bain-Businessman persona. He bluffed and blustered and kept a  good-natured tone throughout the whole negotiation. It reminds me a little of the part of law practice I just detest (well, besides "negotiations") - attorneys from both sides argue before a judge and then, as you leave the courtroom, you're supposed to be all good-old-boy chums. I hate that. And I can't bluff and bluster my way through a business deal. It's just not my personality. I'm not saying that the business persona is wrong or necessarily bad. And to be perfectly honest, I don't much like the people who are like that. We probably need them as part of our rich mix of American talents and personalities. It's just not me. (I probably shouldn't have gone into law - at least it's not business).

Here's just one example of the classic business salesman at work. Romney, looking America straight in the face, clearly, confidently, and with all sincerity, said that his health care plan would cover pre-existing conditions.
After the debate, [Romney] adviser Eric Fehrnstrom clarified in the spin room, saying, "With respect to pre-existing conditions, what Governor Romney has said is for those with continuous coverage, he would continue to make sure that they receive their coverage.” From Politico.
It may also be, as I noted last night in my real-time blogging, that Romney was putting on a Reaganesque persona. I don't think he was quite as good as Reagan, but it was pretty successful. There was all that good-natured humor while he sliced his opponent with a dull knife. And there he was telling about meeting some guy in Ohio with some problem, and Ann meeting some woman in Colorado with problems. Very Reaganesque, although I think Reagan mentioned people with real names.

And here's the deal. I voted for Reagan twice. I know, shame on me. But I'm not falling for it a third time. Maybe I am more cynical. My Hope will return.

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