I am not an adviser to Mitt Romney. However, if I were, (if you are reading this Mr. Romney, I’d be happy to fill any vacancies you may have) this is what I’d be telling the Governor, assuming that today’s issues are still relevant in the 2012 campaign:
Barack Obama’s approval ratings are trending steadily downward. People across the nation are frustrated with the stagnant economy, dithering in Afghanistan, an unclear foreign policy (just what exactly is the president trying to achieve?), unprecedented and irresponsible government spending, and an ongoing apology tour de farce. They are worried about how health care reform, cap and trade, and any more “stimulus” bills will effect their daily lives – their jobs, taxes, energy costs, grocery bills, and so forth. In other words, there is a fair amount of civil unrest throughout the nation. In fact, I think the only bipartisan sentiment we are witnessing in America today is a collective cry to “slow down!”
For the first time in his life, our current president will have to run for re-election. And for the first time in his career he will have to defend his leadership record. Suffice it to say, he is not off to a great start. How then can a challenger in 2012 capitalize on the political climate of today?
Mitt Romney has a unique talent to “see around corners”. I wonder if our current leadership, Republican and Democrat alike, truly understand the symbiotic relationship between our economy, and our national security. Current trends, remarks, and actions suggest they are at best, ignorant, and at worst, malicious. Governor Romney is best known for his economic skills. That reputation is warranted, however, one aspect of those skills that is largely overlooked is his ability to take a dire situation, and turn it around into something profitable and successful. He knows that the strength of our military, the power of our negotiators, and the authority of our president is all contingent on the power of our economy. If it is weak, then everything else follows. What is alarming is that our enemies seem to understand this principle better than our president, secretary of state, and representatives on Capitol Hill.
Mitt Romney knows these things. He has built a career on building success through economic prosperity.
Right now the American people want to hear once again how great the United States is. They want to know that through our ingenuity, our courage, and our entrepreneurial spirit, that any challenges that we face can be, not only overcome, but turned to our advantage. That through the unfettered spirit of the individual, all things are possible. It was not increased government spending, or bloated entitlement programs that lifted us out of the Great Depression. It was not health care reform or climate change legislation that sent an American to the moon. It was not bailouts, handouts, and a White House led culture war that defeated Communism, some 20 years ago.
It was Americans. You. And I. Our grandparents, and parents.
Mitt Romney could quickly become the candidate (and president) of an American Renaissance. A period of recovery, peace, and prosperity led by the peoples confidence once again in the individual pursuit of happiness.
However those same Americans do not want explanations. They want results. If the current political climate persists into the 2012 election season then no doubt one of the albatrosses that will be hung around Governor Romney’s neck (by his fellow Republican challengers) will be so called “Romneycare”. I do not think it is in his best interest as a candidate to try and explain away the nuances of the Massachusetts health care system. Nor is it beneficial to claim that it has not been implemented as designed. And while that may be true, that same spirit of independence that defines the American people demands accountability. And so, I think Mitt Romney ought to own Romneycare, and admit that it has fallen short of expectations. Admit it was a mistake, whose lesson was learned the hard way, but luckily on a small scale. It would give Mr. Romney a chance to admit failure, but also to offer new solutions. It would lead to an excellent opportunity to denounce government controlled health care and to point out that the private sector is best suited to fix our economic problems. And ultimately, health care is an economic problem.
The success of our nation will come down to the resolve and faith of the American people. Having a president that is constantly blaming others, complaining about messes he “inherited” and telling those who question or disagree with him to “shut up and get out of the way” is draining the spirit and morale of the people. In less than a year we have grown tired of the rhetorical tongue lashings, the attacks on the private industry, and the inability to stand firm and make hard choices. We demand optimistic, experienced, leadership.
Which is exactly what Mitt Romney will deliver.