Remember many many moons ago when Lloyd Bentsen told Dan Quayle he was “no Jack Kennedy?”
Well, a few wistful and wishful thinkers are promoting Mitt Romney for president. Once Romney’s flip-flopping as a politician is pointed out, and his abuse of company employees is pointed out they resort the tired old logic. “Well, Ronald Reagan had to run three times before he won.”
It is ludicrous to compare Mitt Romney to Ronald Reagan on any level. But I shall address the most important.
Mitt Romney took a run at being a senator from Massachusetts. He started strong, and finished a sad second.
Then Mitt put on his mittens and flew to Utah where he took over leading the Olympics through a plan that was already established. America won a lot of gold and Mittens won a lot of gold-plated accolades. He swooped back into his safe liberal haven of Massachusetts and allowed America’s love for athletic dominance to carry him into the governor’s chair.
Then he proceeded to think he was qualified to be crowned as America’s royalty and be endowed with the presidency. America owed him that much for single-handedly winning every gold, silver, bronze and brass medallion in 2002. America had already forgotten the old olympic stars and were ready for serious men of politics.
Four years later he took another shot, waffling as he went, hoping that America would once again recognize that he deserved to be anointed, “because he had paid his dues.” Oops, one more time.
Let’s now look to Ronald Reagan. He was a successful governor that was approved by his state, that also carried a democrat majority. He had a consistent semi-conservative message and easy governance style.
Like Romney he thought those Santa Anna winds of political fortune would blow him into the east coast white house. They did not. But, Reagan stuck to his ideas that he had something to offer. He also stuck to his vision of what would work for America.
Ultimately the people of the nation decided that Reagan’s message was genuine and he was the real cowboy, right off the silver screen. He needed no silver medal to prove his metal.
In the end Ronald Reagan offered something to America that America desperately needed, following the previous disastrous presidency. He served eight years and left office loved by much of the nation. Now, years after his death, multitudes of Republican wannabees proclaim themselves to “Reagan Republicans.” It is the safest and clearest affiliation one can claim two decades after Reagan left office.
Now, the comparison.
Mitt Romney has had a career of vacillating between political positions. Try as his apologist will to say he hasn’t been a bouncer in a bar they can’t convince a semi-aware public that he hasn’t been a bouncer on political opinions. And, rightfully so the public is not convinced against their better knowledge that he is steady and focused…because he is not.
Mitt Romney, people intuitively recognize, does not have something clear and consistent to offer America. He is seen as believing America has something for him. He is a semi-accomplished businessman having earned a little more than pocket change. He has stumbled into some opportunities and capitalized on them. He is a decent fellow and worthy of personal recognition for being one.
However, he conveys the image that America owes him because of what he has done. Ronald Reagan conveyed that he owed America because of what it allowed him to do.
That there folks is why Mitt Romney will not win the Republican nomination. That is why he will not win the presidency. That is why he has not and will not win the hearts and minds of the American people. We don’t pander to those who think it is owed to them.
America is and always has been the land of promise. It is a society steeped in the idea that nothing is owed to anyone. Victors are not given super bowl rings for having a good season. They get super bowl rings by consistently winning through to the end of the season. There are no books written in America about all the great second place runners that thought they should have won. This is America and such a book wouldn’t be read.
Drifting for a moment let me say that is why Barack Obama is a laughing-stock even among his own democratic party. He thinks he is owed respect for all his ideas simply because he won two races. Americans have never seen it that way. They don’t and won’t see it that way for Romney.
Romney prances around with vain-glorying precision…but no resonance for delivering.
It is for that reason he is not a Reagan, despite political pundit’s best bantering. It is time for him to hang up his ski suit beside Obama’s golf shoes. Neither man will capture the confidence of the American people, again. In the eyes of the populace both have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.
That Is The Way I See It.