About that Mitt Romney guy

11 03 2010

I saw this article today about how Mitt Romney’s new book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness is set to top the New York Times Bestseller List when it hits the stands in a few weeks.

That’s great for Romney, I guess, but even better for me, because it gives me a semi-legitimate reason to bring up my thoughts on the man after his CPAC speech last month.  I took fairly detailed notes on what he said, and, just as importantly, how the crowd reacted, and have two major observations:

1.  People, even alleged “limited government” conservatives, are absolute suckers for politicians.

2.  Mitt Romney is too freaking slick for my tastes.

So the much anticipated Romney CPAC speech kicked off with a surprise appearance by Mr. 41 himself, Scott Brown.  I mean, it wasn’t really a surprise, because everybody expected him to show up at some point, and it made sense for him to introduce Romney.  For the record, yes, he did drive the infamous truck to DC, or at least that’s what he told the audience.  We had little choice but to believe him.

Anyway, that got the crowd pretty pumped.  Then Romney waltzed onto the stage, and people went nuts.

I may have been in the nosebleed section, but I WAS IN THE ROOM WITH A POTENTIAL PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE! I'LL BE TELLING MY GRANDKIDS ABOUT THIS DAY!

Which sort of brings me to my first point: politicians make people get all starry-eyed for some mysterious reason.  I really do think that people were excited to be in the same room as the guy who many assume will be the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee; maybe they thought that it gave them some kind of cred—like, I totally cheered this guy on before he was big, or something.

Which brings me to my second point: I don’t see a whole lot to like about Romney the Politician.  Clearly, there’s a lot to like about Romney the Man; he has private sector experience and a great head of hair.  But he’s not really all that conservative—or at least, not consistently.  There’s a reason RomneyCare is so called, and while I don’t really mind if a state wants to screw up its health care system, it says something about his repressed statist tendencies.  Of course, he might have learned from his mistakes…

Oh, and he claims to be pro-2nd Amendment, yet doesn’t see why civilians need to own “assault weapons.”  Maybe you don’t see why I need an AR-15, but I don’t really care—it’s my right to own one.  As far as I know, rights are not determined on the basis of necessity.

Gun rights may not be an important issue to you personally, but his stance (or former stance; with Romney, it’s tough to tell) on the issue is telling.  Best case, he’s a political opportunist embracing a position popular among his former constituents in Massachusetts.  Worst case, he doesn’t understand the concept of natural rights, and that’s not a very conservative attribute.

Really, I think most people like the guy because he looks like he’s going to be the President one day.  Seriously, he’s typecast; if he wants to run for anything at this point, it has to be President.  If television shows hadn’t taken to casting women or minority actors as Commander in Chief lately (I’m looking at you, 24), the guy in the Oval Office would look a lot like…Mitt Romney.

But he’s a little too smooth for me.  His speech at CPAC was peppered with one-liners and requisite anti-Obama bon mots (that joke about Lindsey Vonn being stripped of her Olympic Gold Medal because Obama was headed downhill faster than she was?  Thank Romney’s speechwriter for that one).  His delivery was perfect.  He really knew how to work the room.  It bugged me.  Maybe Obama has made me distrustful of splendid orators, but I’d prefer someone who focuses more on message than delivering zingers.

I can’t really argue with much of what he said in his speech, particularly concerning the economy.  But can I believe what he said?  I’m not really sure.  The 2012 election cycle hasn’t quite started to gear up yet, and I’m not sure what credible Republican contenders will arise in the mean time.  I hope we are wise enough to take a hard look at Romney and see if we can’t find someone who at least brings a more reliable, consistent track record to the table.

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One response

11 03 2010
kathusitalo

Reliable? Consistent? In politics?
I agree on the humor…even his attempt at the slightly tousled hair look doesn’t ring true.
Maybe he has or is learning something…
We can dream.

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