Saturday, November 25, 2006

Six Reasons to Vote for Mitt

A friend of mine received was asked by a relative what he thought about Mitt Romney as a potential presidential candidate. I thought the email response succinctly states why Mitt would make a great POTUS.

Earlier this year an editorial in the Economist called him the "scarily perfect presidential Candidate". This has liberals shaking in their boots because there is the possibility that he could be VERY popular among voters. The only question about his broad appeal is his Mormonism. For this reason, the mainstream liberal media (Washington Post, LA Times, etc.) have been conducting surveys and using those surveys to show that voters won't elect a Mormon President in order to shut him down. For example, the mainstream liberal media are trying to downplay his potential popularity by claiming that the Evangelicals won't support him. This is NOT true. Almost without exception, evangelical and other Christians are becoming favorable to Romney as they get to know him. Once you put a face like Romney on the "Mormon President", the "voters-won't-vote-for-a-Mormon-President-surveys" are meaningless.

Romney's real challenge is getting himself more well-known through the country. If he can do that, Romney will win the Republican Primary and the Presidency. Romney's biggest Republican challengers are McCain and Guiliani, and Romney is the more conservative candidate of either of them. McCain has turned off a lot of registered Republicans; they see him as a "Republican-in-name-only" (RINO). And Guiliani is a little too liberal on social issues to gain wide support from the conservative Republican base.

What do I like about Romney:

1. Character, like selflessness: For example, after saving the 2002 Olympics from its corruption scandal and likely bankruptcy and making a decent profit for the Olympics, he donated all 3 years of his salary (almost $300,000) plus $1 million of his own money back to the Olympics! This sort of thing reminds me of President Washington (my favorite President, by the way) who sacrificed TREMENDOUSLY for his country. THAT is the sort of person we need for President.

His wife has also had multiple sclerosis for about 8 years now...that tells me something about him too. Not to forget that this guy is clean as a whistle. No drugs. No drinking. No carousing. No corruption. No scandals. He lives by the Judeo-Christian, family-values that he believes in. In a sort of ironic twist, Romney, the Mormon, has only had one wife while McCain and Giuliani are on their second. Hahaha, no wonder the liberals are scared.

By way of an anecdote, there was an LDS General Authority that addressed my law school's LDS-Institute class. He talked about the importance of electing government officials who would honor their government offices, unlike President Clinton. (Looking back, was it just coincidence that about this time Clinton was "doing stuff" with Lewinsky before it became public?) He didn't stress qualifications, or political view points; he emphasized character. Consider that no presidential candidate in 2000 could have anticipated that 911 would happen when they were running for office. What qualifies someone to handle that sort of event? The answer to that is character. What sort of far-reaching, unanticipated events will happen during the next Presidency, and what sort of person would you want in charge?

2. Fiscally conservative: When he took over as Governor of Massachusetts, it had huge budget deficit problems. In one term, he worked with a Democratically controlled legislature and turned the deficit around. He also worked on and passed a health care proposal with the legislature that would provide health care for all Massachusetts citizens. This new program was hailed as a ground-breaking success by liberals and conservatives.

Why is this important to me? Because the Federal U.S. government is heading toward bankruptcy: almost $9 trillion in debt and that is projected to grow quickly to $40 trillion in a few decades if Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid is not fixed. This is a huge problem and must be addressed. Who else is better capable to solve this than Romney who saved the 2002 Olympics from bankruptcy, and balanced the Massachusetts budget (with a Democratically-controlled legislature)?

Oh, and did I mention...he is the co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity firm that financed start up business like Staples, Domino's Pizza and Sports Authority. Romney knows how to budget and manage money, and he has proven track record of this. Cheney recently said the war on terror may last 50 years. How is the U.S. going to pay for that? We need some one who is going to help set a long term strategy and budget for a conflict that may last over several Presidential terms.

3. Socially conservative: Any one who doubts this (particularly because of the promise he made not to overturn Massachusetts' abortions laws when he ran for governor) just does not know Romney. He has made it very clear that he will make no such promises again. And beyond abortion (which should be decided on a state level any way if we as a people still believe in the principle of Federalism), Romney is clearly and adamantly a social conservative. I hope that any conservative Christian who considers Romney and has any doubt about this will research Romney's positions on social policy.

With that said, Romney's positions on social policy are primarily of importance to me because there are still a few US Supreme Court Justices (particularly that awful Stevens) who will be retiring soon, and we need more Justices like Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alito. There is a pernicious theory of interpretation advocated by liberals that the Constitution is a "living document" that is to be interpreted far too liberally than for what that document is intended be interpreted. Justices should NOT be legislatures, but that has been the trend for decades now; Justices have usurped power that is not theirs and this undermines the very foundation of the Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances and the Rule of Law in our Constitutional government. We must have Justices that exercise judicial restraint and not overstep their judicial bounds.

Guaranteed that if Stevens steps down or dies at age 80 or 90 something, Romney will appoint a qualified Justice with the proper judicial restraint. Beyond that, I'm not a fan of implementing social policy through the government (nor is Romney, I think)...And if it is to be done, more often than not, it should be done at a state-level where it belongs. Otherwise, what is the point of Federalism and separate states? Let Vermont recognize civil unions if that's what its citizens want; and let Texas disallow alternative relations if that's what its citizens want.

4. Qualified: Eagle Scout; father of five; BA with Honors & Valedictorian from BYU; MBA and Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School; JD cum laude from Harvard Law school; co-founder of Bain Capital; CEO of 2002 Olympics; Republican! Governor of Massachusetts...what else? Did you know that before he ran for governor, Romney almost beat Senator Ted Kennedy in a race for senator? Did you know that Romney's father was former chairman of American Motors, Governor of Michigan and ran for President back in the 1950s and 1960s?

5. Pro-active Public Relations: Consider, for example, how Romney handled the construction death on the Massachusetts "Big Dig" highway versus how Pres Bush handled the Katrina disaster: day and night. Romney was out there the next day with hard hat on inspecting the tunnels and firing the construction manager while Bush couldn't seem to figure out how to quiet his Katrina criticisms. Romney and Bush may not be much different in what actions they would take, BUT in the world of business and politics, you must sell, promote, market or advertise that you are in charge and you know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Romney understands this and knows how to do this.

6. No special-interest agenda: First, Romney does not bow to any political mandates from LDS Church leaders. Any one who is LDS knows that the LDS Church absolutely will not support any political party or candidate, and that is stressed in official statements and from the pulpit from time to time to remind the members not to use the Church or its resources to promote parties or candidates. The Church takes this policy seriously, or, for example, it loses it's charitable-tax-exempt status. Not to mention other strong reasons from Church history why this policy is followed. Hopefully, non-Mormons will recognize that Mormons and the LDS Church take this seriously too.

Second, Romney is new to the political arena, and so he is still relatively an outsider to big lobbyists. I'm sure Romney will get lobbied heavily by special-interests, but Romney is mostly a self-made man, and owes no one favors and is not beholden to any one. He will have to make compromises just like any politician has to make compromises to get things done, but his agenda will be what is best for the American people...not necessarily what is best for himself, big business, the Republican party, pacifists or war-mongers, or whatever else. Compare that to current President Bush who I think was groomed to run for President much like he was groomed to help revive the Texas Rangers baseball team several years too many ways Bush was supported in his Presidential run by ideologues with an agenda.

Romney has stated his vision and agenda, and among other things at the top of his list is to keep the USA an economic powerhouse. With the European-Union in place and countries like China and others coming of age, it's a much more competitive global environment, and the US must strive hard to stay competitive. Romney knows this and wants to improve the U.S. situation. Other important issues to him are illegal immigration (not "undocumented workers") and the war on terror.

An anecdote from Romney regarding terror: in September, Romney as Governor absolutely (and rightly so) refused to lend any protection or assistance for a former Iranian President Khatami who was invited to speak at Harvard despite the fact that Khatami is a recognized terrorist and was welcomed into the U.S. by the State Department to give a hate-filled speech directed at the U.S.

I keep asking myself what can I do to help him get elected? I know that if he doesn't get elected, I will regret it if I didn't do much of anything to help. I know that he must raise a lot of money EARLY (like NOW BEFORE he announces his intention to run in early January) in his campaign or he won't have enough funds to get the support he needs AND more importantly to make himself known. I'm sure if he can get the money he needs, he will be able to make himself and his platform known, he will win the Republican Primary and then the Presidency.

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At Tuesday, 28 November, 2006, Blogger jeffbittonfam said...

I completely agree with everything you've said. I've listened to many interviews that Romney has been in, looked at his record as MA Governor, and been highly impressed with his person. He has definitely got my vote and support. Can't wait for the debates!


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