In summary, you may want to consider voting for Romney if you desire change, and if you look forward to something better than the past four years has offered. You may want to vote for Romney if:
– You believe that Wahington is broken by partisan wrangling and you want a President with a proven track record of working with both parties
– You want to see a candidate who has a track record of creating a positive working environment for women within his Massachusetts administration, while his opponent who — although passionate about women’s rhetoric — created a hostile workplace for women in the White House
– You believe that a candidate with a proven track record as a problem solver is more likely to help the United States solve its budget crisis so we can avoid following the path of countries like Greece into economic chaos
– You believe that pursuing a pragmatic plan for energy independence would provide an economic dividend and a peace dividend
– You believe that a candidate with a consistent personal track record of compassionate and altruistic behavior is the kind of person who can be trusted with high office
If you look forward to a better, brighter future, Mitt Romney may be the candidate for you.
Romney’s governance of Massachusetts was marked by being pragmatic rather than ideological. He left a track record of reaching across the aisle. Similarly, Romney’s energy plan focuses on the pragmatic.
In a Forbes artcle, Mark Mills says that Romney’s plan:
Has a shot at succeeding because it reflects technology reality…. His goals appear focused on practical technologies. If ever there were an age that needed a practical President, it is ours. Romney’s plan reflects three indisputable facts. First, hydrocarbons supply 85 percent of what America and the rest of the world consumes, a share that will change little for decades to come based on every credible forecast including our own Department of Energy. Second, hydrocarbons are where the vast majority of current and future energy-related jobs reside. And third, the most important technology progress in energy has occurred with hydrocarbons, making them more abundant, affordable and greener…. Romney also proposes forging an energy alliance with Canada and Mexico, where our collective hydrocarbons resources are some five-fold greater than that of the Middle East.
If North America develops more energy clout than the Middle East, we could see a serious economic dividend and peace dividend, a prospect that seems pretty attractive.
And Romney’s plan also includes facilitating private-sector-led development of new technologies.
Overall, it seems like a plan that a thoughtful moderate could consider supporting.
In addition to having an impressive business and government resume, Mitt Romney’s life also provides evidence of altruistic behavior, which is certainly not a bad thing in a candidate for public office.
In the summer of 2003, two of Mitt’s sons were cleaning the beach at Lake Winnipesaukee when they heard screams from the lake. Romney’s sons raced toward the screams on their Jet Skis, while Mitt — who had been in the garage of the family’s summer home — followed his sons.
The Romneys found six people floating in their life jackets, along with a Scottish terrier. Their boat had sunk, and they were scared that they might be hit by another boat in the darkness. Mitt shuttled two of them to safety, while his sons stayed near the others. Mitt then made two more trips to ferry the rest to shore. All of them, including the dog, were successfully rescued. One of Romney’s sons had kept the dog on his Jet Ski during the recue operation, since the dog was the only one wihout a life jacket.
Sgt. Robertson [of the New Hampshire State Marine Patrol] said he wasn’t surprised at the Good Samaritan behavior by the Romneys, who are well known to the neighbors.
A few years earlier, at the same lake, the Romneys had performed another water rescue. In the previous incident, the Romneys had rescued a group of kayakers who had been threatened by wind and rocks.
And, before that rescue effort, Romney had also led the effort to locate the daughter of a business colleague, Robert Gay, who had gone missing. Gay told about the search operation that Romney organized:
My 14-year-old daughter had disappeared in New York City for three days. No one could find her. My business partner stepped forward to take charge. He closed the company and brought almost all our employees to New York. He said, “I don’t care how long it takes. We’re going to find her”…. He set up a command center and searched through the night. The man who helped save my daughter was Mitt Romney. Mitt’s done a lot of things that people say are nearly impossible. But for me, the most important thing he’s ever done is to help save my daughter.
Romney asked employees of Bain’s law firm and accounting firm to help out. The sight of all these professionals in suits walking around New York’s rough neighborhoods finally prompted media to cover the story, which helped generate the lead that allowed the rescuers to locate the missing daughter.
In addition to these rescue efforts, Romney has donated much of his time in church volunteer work, as mentioned in a previous post, and he has also donated much of his money to charity.
It seems to me that when you combine these examples of altruism with his track record in business, Olympics, and politics, the overall result is that Romney appears to be someone who can be trusted. It seems that someone who is willing to drop whatever he’s doing to run off and rescue people can be entrusted with the incredibly responsible job of being President … a job where decisions often affect the lives of many others.
Artur Davis, formerly a Democratic Representative from Alabama, spoke at the Republican National Convention this year. In 2008, he gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention seconding Obama’s nomination. And he was a co-chair of Obama’s national campaign in 2008. But this year, he attended the Republican National Convention to support Romney.
Davis spoke of his reasons for changing allegiance and challenged Democrats and independents to compare the two candidates and decide which one better measures up to their vision of America.
Do you know why so many of us believed [in Obama in 2008]? We led with our hearts and our dreams that we could be more inclusive than America had ever been, and no candidate had ever spoken so beautifully. But dreams meet daybreak. The jobless know what I mean, so [do] the families who wonder how this Administration could wreck a recovery for three years and counting…. Remember, my friends, the President saying of negative politics and untrue ads, “Not this time?” Who knew “not this time” just meant “not unless the economy is stuck and we can’t run on our record?” Remember when the President said of his own election this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal? Who knew the plain English version of it was, “Middle America, get ready to shell out 60 bucks to fill up your car?”… So, this time, in the name of 23 million of our children and parents and brothers and sisters who are officially unemployed, underemployed, or who have stopped looking for work, let’s put the poetry aside, let’s suspend the hype, let’s come down to earth and start creating jobs again. This time, instead of moving oceans and healing planets, let’s pay our bills down and pay down the debt … so we control our own future. And, of course, we know that opportunity lies outside the reach of some of our people. We don’t need flowery words about inequality to tell us that, and we don’t need a party that has led — while poverty and hunger rose to record levels — to give us lectures about suffering…. Bill Clinton, Jack Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson reached across the aisle and said, “Meet me in the middle,” but their party rammed through a healthcare bill that took over one-sixth of our economy without accepting a single Republican idea, without winning a single vote in either house from a party whose constituents make up half of this country…. This is the dawn before we remember who we are. So, may it be said of this time in our history: 2008 to 2011, lesson learned. 2012, mistake corrected.
If the man who seconded Obama’s nomination has come out in support of Romney, it may be worthwhile for Democrats and independents to evaluate Obama’s promises and his track record and decide if there is a better source for hope and change.
Watching the third presidential debate made it pretty clear that Romney acts in a more presidential manner than Obama. The lowlight of nastiness and contempt occurred when Obama tried to explain why he does not believe that the Navy needs more ships.
I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships. It’s what are our capabilities.
In addition to being condescending during the third debate and in this segment in particular, Obama also suffered the misfortune of not having done his homework before launching this attack against Romney.
Even though Obama only said that we have fewer bayonets today, his tone and body language and the fact that he tied bayonets with horses all clearly indicated – at least to me – that Obama considers bayonets to be antiquated weapons. Unfortunately for Obama, bayonets are still a significant part of the American military arsenal. The army has over 419,000 bayonets, the Marine Corps has over 195,000, and the Marine Corps has plans to order an additional 175,000.
Obama mentioned Osama bin Laden by name six times during the debate, commenting once that “we killed bin Laden.” It seems to me that if Obama really values military personnel the way he says that he does, it would have been more chivalrous to explicitly acknowledge the role of the Navy SEALs in that operation. Or, perhaps Obama – as Commander-in–Chief – might realize that the Navy SEALs under his command still use weapons such as bayonets.
Weapons of the Navy SEALs by Fred Pushies points out that each Navy SEAL is allowed to choose his own “edged weapon” and indicates that those choices include the M9 bayonet. The book concludes that “The Navy SEAL is as comfortable – and as lethal – with a knife as he is with any firearm.”
Standard Marine training teaches Marines how to make deadly use of bayonets. A former Marine passionately defended the value of bayonets in an on-line post:
As a former U.S. Marine, I can attest to the value of bayonet training. When out of ammo, out of touch or in close, it is best to have a bayonet…. It is not archaic or a throwback to the past that the Marine Corps still trains with bayonets. It is not archaic that the U.S. Army and Marine Corps has an active hand to hand combat training program that includes knives and bayonets. For the military and the idiotic few who seem to think that a knife or bayonet or [enthrenching] tool is an ineffective weapon of last resort then I hope they find themselves without one when the situation warrants….
On first read, one might think this post was made in response to the final presidential debate, except for the fact that the designation “142 weeks ago” appears above the post. Apparently, Obama has company in scorning the use of bayonets. However, it seems unwise of Obama not to have done his homework before jabbing Romney with his bayonet line. In what some have speculated was a pre-planned line, Obama kindly gave Romney an opening for an effective campaign ad and gave thoughtful indepedents an opening for contrasting the two candidates.
During the debate, Romney proposed increasing the number of ships in the Navy:
Romney seems to have done his homework on this one. The Naval Sea Systems Command Strategic Business Plan for 2009-2013 says:
We are accountable to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) to deliver, modernize and maintain a 313-ship Navy that meets the requirements of our national security plan. If we continue to operate with a “business as usual” approach, this goal will not be achieved; we must change.
The Navy’s plan for 313 ships does include the “things called aircraft carriers” as well as “ships that go underwater.” It begs the question of how Obama could appear to be unaware that the Navy’s own plan for 313 ships includes aircraft carriers and submarines. Humorously, my copy of the game Battleship also includes aircraft carriers and submarines, and, so, even that part of Obama’s jab missed the mark. Even the game Battleship is not just a matter of “counting ships.” It t has different ships with different capabilities.
It seems ironic that during the foreign policy debate, Obama’s tone of voice, smirking, and body language showed him to be the less dimplomatic of the two candidates.
With supporters like Secretary Jane Edmonds – an African-American female and liberal Democrat – how can a moderate not take Mitt Romney seriously? Jane Edmonds served in Romney’s administration as the Secretary of Workforce and spoke glowingly of Romney at the Republican National Convention:
By way of background, my politics is as a liberal Democrat…. When I first met Governor Romney, I was struck by his humanity, his grace, his kind manner…. He is the real thing, authentic. He struck me then and now as honest, transparent, and inclusive…. He always drove us in his administration to make government better for the people…. He is unquestionably an amazing steward and leader, a servant-leader and someone whom I respect very much…. He is open to good ideas wherever they come from. It doesn’t matter if they’re from a liberal Democrat like me. He’ll listen and he’s inclusive. As a great leader, he brought out the best in me, and I know – as President – he will bring out the best in our country.
Liberals have made fun of Romney’s comment in the second debate that he used “binders full of women” to fill his cabinet with competent women. It’s hard for me to understand the sin involved in seriously considering talented women for top positions.
According to a 2004 study by the State University of New York, in “Romney’s first year as governor, Massachusetts ranked first among all states in women appointed policy leaders.”
By contrast, Obama is in no position to poke fun of Mitt Romney’s record.
[Obama’s] White House pays women less than men…. In Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men, [Anita] Dunn [Obama debate coach and former Obama White House Communications Director] is quoted as saying, “looking back, this place would be in court for a hostile workplace…. Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.” According to Time Magazine, the Obama White House is [a] “Boys’ Club” that “marginalizes” and “ignores” women. Former economic adviser Christina Romer said she was treated as a “piece of meat.”
Romney’s administration was quite different from Obama’s administration according to Romney’s female lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey:
My personal experience has obviously been extraordinary. Governor Romney is a great leader, and he also creates a work environment which is enormously friendly, it’s family friendly, it’s professional. It’s everything women in the workforce could hope for.
Hopefully, all the hoopla over binders of women will actually cause voters to recognize one of Romney’s heretofore unnoticed strengths as a candidate. Elizabeth Childs, a former member of Romney’s staff, said:
If I’m a binder girl, I’m proud of it…. Governor Romney has so much respect for women of all kinds. I’ve seen how much respect he has for his wife Ann and families and mothers and grandmothers. But he also has a lot of respect for women who work and bring up families, who are primarily career women.
Obama may talk nicely about women and minorities, but Romney has delivered results.