Mitt is officially “it” now.
This week the Convention will be over and the Romney/Ryan Recovery Express will have access to all the funds that they couldn’t use until after he was officially the nominee (they have out-raised Obama 4 months in a row). I had a brief chat last night with a friend of mine inside the Utah political establishment (and is connected to the Romney campaign) and she tells me that Romney is about to unleash a series of devastating ads about the failures of the Age of Obama and he is taking Paul Ryan off the leash.
Nothing personal aimed at Obama, just a methodical (and brutal) dissection of the effects of Obama’s policies. She says that it mirrors Romney’s analytically inclined business style – to slice things into small pieces, assign a cause and then craft a cure.
I can understand Romney’s reticence to go after Obama on a level that could be seen as personal. Of course, MSNBC and the New York Times will see racism in any criticism, after all, Mitt is a rich white Mormon with a storybook family and Utah ties, how could he not be a racist?
I would like to point to an article by Andrew Ferguson and the Weekly Standard that explains a little of why Romney is the way he is:
Romney once famously called himself “severely” conservative. Other adverbs fit better: culturally, personally, instinctively. He seems to have missed out on The Sixties altogether, and wanted to. As a freshman at Stanford he protested the protesters, appearing in the quad carrying signs of his own: SPEAK OUT, DON’T SIT IN! In 1968 the May riots stranded him in Paris. “The disorder appalled him,” the authors write. He left Stanford for BYU, where long hair, rock bands, and peace symbols were banned. As a young go-getter he liked to give friends copies of Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill—a Stephen Covey for the Coolidge era, sodden with moral uplift. (Even his anachronisms are anachronistic.) “There was nothing jaded about him,” a school friend tells the authors, “nothing skeptical, nothing ironic.”
At his wedding, he declined when the photographer asked him to kiss the bride: “Not for cameras,” he said. Since that day, Ann says, they haven’t had an argument; friends believe her. And their kids—we’ve all seen their kids. The authors tick off a typical week for the young family. Sunday: “church, reflection, volunteer work, family dinners.” Monday: “family night,” when the family gathered for Bible stories and skits about animals. Tuesday was for family basketball games and cookouts. Friday was date night for Mitt and Ann. Saturday was for doing chores, and so on, in a pinwheel of wholesomeness that a -post-60s ironist can only gape at, disbelieving. The Romneys present a picture of an American family that popular culture has been trying to undo since—well, since An American Family, the 1973 PBS documentary that exposed the typical household as a cauldron of resentment and infidelity.
And now, here, 40 years later, it’s as though it all never happened: a happy American family, led by a baby boomer with no sense of irony! Romney is the sophisticate’s nightmare.
Almost every personal detail about Romney I found endearing. But my slowly softening opinion went instantly to goo when The Real Romney unfolded an account of his endless kindnesses—unbidden, unsung, and utterly gratuitous. “It seems that everyone who has known him has a tale of his altruism,” the authors write. I was struck by the story of a Mormon family called (unfortunately) Nixon. In the 1990s a car wreck rendered two of their boys quadriplegics. Drained financially from extraordinary expenses, Mr. Nixon got a call from Romney, whom he barely knew, asking if he could stop by on Christmas Eve. When the day came, all the Romneys arrived bearing presents, including a VCR and a new sound system the Romney boys set up. Later Romney told Nixon that he could take care of the children’s college tuition, which in the end proved unnecessary. “I knew how busy he was,” Nixon told the authors. “He was actually teaching his boys, saying, ‘This is what we do. We do this as a family.’ ”
Romney’s oldest son Tagg once made the same point to the radio host Hugh Hewitt. “He was constantly doing things like that and never telling anyone about them,” Tagg said. “He doesn’t want to tell people about them, but he wanted us to see him. He would let the kids see it because he wanted it to rub off on us.”
To this touching kindness and fatherly wisdom, The Real Romney adds other traits that will continue to grate—he’s a know-it-all and likely to remain so, and his relationship to political principle has always been tenuous. Which makes him a, uh, politician. But now I suspect he’s also something else, a creature rarely found in the highest reaches of American politics: a good guy.
I agree. This is the man that they will try to paint as a racist, a bigot, a theocrat and evil, a man who has used his personal wealth to help others in need. In May, I wrote of the issues that the Democrats face in attacking a genuine and good man:
So the Democrats and their enablers may have something on their hands that they don’t have a playbook for: a honest, religious, dedicated family man who happens to be a BYU, Harvard Law and Harvard MBA grad and a very successful businessman and public servant prior to being the chief executive of the State of Massachusetts.
Really, doesn’t this agonized search for something — anything — with which to discredit Romney feel desperate and deeply silly? What an absolutely unblemished life the man must have lived if all they can come up with is that he pulled some unkind pranks in high school and HE’S RICH!!
Contrast and compare Romney with the last few Democrats running for president, Bill Clinton – a womanizing, intern diddling liar, Al Gore – a fanatic limousine liberal eco-nut, John Kerry – a dilettante gigolo Beacon Hill social climber, John Edwards – another serial philander and ambulance chasing trial lawyer, a baby daddy who was screwing Reille Hunter while his wife was dying of cancer, and the current president, Barack Obama – a dope smoking, coke snorting tepid non-entity with a protected past, a community organizer with no private sector experience, a political opportunist who was trained at the feet of socialists, Marxists and radicals.
There couldn’t be two more different arcs to a life. Where Obama has sought the shadows and hid behind a curtain of anonymity, Romney has lived a life in the sunlight with nothing held back.
Romney’s clean background and successful (and publicly visible) career are so different from what the Democrats know that they can’t find their ass with both hands right now.
It appears to me that while many conservatives still think that Romney isn’t conservative enough, he is the perfect opposition candidate to Barack Obama and has an effective counter punch for anything that the sleazy Obama campaign has to throw at him.
It is time to close the ranks and send Obama back to his interrupted career as a community organizer.