I bet 47 percent of presidential candidates screw up at least once in front of a microphone…but, damn…I guess we should be happy the debate shifted from 99 percent. At least we're narrowing it down.
Already, I can see how this “Mitt Romney Undercover” expose will be turned into another Vast Leftwing Media Conspiracy story (who would tell that one?), but, honestly, how does someone who’s been running for president for almost eight years get caught so flatfooted? Listen, I understand what he was saying, but as someone who actually paid a higher percentage in income taxes over the last two years than he did, it came across as downright offensive.
(And for those of you still seething over last week’s blog over sex, lies and tax returns, hear me out before flaming me down below…)
Mother Jones is clearly a very left-wing outlet, but they’re also hardly mainstream. The point is, sure, Romney thought he was off the record and with a friendly crowd. But in this 24-hour-news cycle world, documented so thoroughly by iPhone amateurs, you’re never off the record anymore.
The spirit of what he said – however badly articulated – held merit, but it so painfully illustrated his biggest weakness, which is just how out of touch with Middle America this guy is. And this is where I echo the sentiment that the bulk of that 47 percent who clearly wrote off, are actually in red states.
(By the way, I swear I meant to write about the MLR bill finally making some headway in the House, but this was begging me to weigh in.)
The fact of the matter is, I simply can’t – in good conscience – vote for Mitt Romney. This year’s October surprise certainly came early, and maybe there’s still time for this campaign to recover, but coming on the heels of the Libya misstep, my confidence is shaken.
It hasn’t helped that Romney’s bucked political tradition actually moved away from the center after the primaries rather than toward it, but maybe that’s simply a sign of our new political reality. Time will tell. This once centrist, pragmatic businessman who so steadfastly focused on the economy is suddenly a right-wind culture warrior fretting over our women, children and gods. I didn’t sign up for that.
And, no, before you say it, I’m not making the Obama mistake again, either. Although I will give him credit for maybe the smoothest politician in the Oval Office since Slick Willie himself, he’s a lot less decisive – and more ideologically driven – than I’d like in a chief executive. And never mind that this guy hasn’t met a regulation yet he doesn’t like.
The last thing we need is more rules – or waivers, for that matter. Another four years of this presidency assures us of little more than certain uncertainty. But what other choice do we have?
President Obama is clearly bad for brokers. But based on everything I've seen so far, Mitt Romney will be bad for so many more. I don't know. Do I vote my job, or for what might be the greater good? Or to mitigate the damage done by either?
And keep in mind I'm ignoring the racial aspect of Romney's rant for the puprose's of my electoral surrender. As a husband and father to Latinas, I find his ignorance of what minorities in this country live with startling. But maybe he simply can see past the glare of his own admitted silver spoon.
William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, I think articulated my own frustrations before (and probably better) than I could, when he wrote, “Has there been a presidential race in modern times featuring two candidates who have done so little over their lifetimes for our country, and who have so little substance to say about the future of our country?”
My Ron Paul vote is clearly a principled stand against the tyranny of an increasingly extremist-driven two-party cabal. November’s a lost cause. Let’s focus on the midterms and putting together a competent, cooperative Congress. And maybe even that Ryan-Rubio ticket in 2016?