As presidential pretender Mitt Romney’s campaign continues to falter and flounder many are pointing to his lack of policy specificity as the main cause for him losing ground to President Barack Obama.
Romney has displayed, in several ways, that he is unfit to be president.
Since last week, much of the talk has surrounded Mr. Romney’s derogatory slandering of 47 percent of the American people; his remarks were caught on a hidden videotape. In the now infamous video, Mr. Romney said “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right — there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing. My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Mr. Romney’s statements have caused a firestorm of controversy from both Democrats and Republicans. President Obama is currently running an ad that says “Mitt Romney attacked 47 percent of Americans who pay no income tax — including veterans, elderly, the disabled. Doesn’t the president have to worry about everyone? Mitt Romney paid just 14.1 percent in taxes last year. He keeps millions in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. He won’t release his tax returns before 2010. Maybe instead of attacking others on taxes Romney should come clean on his.”
Some Republicans are also unhappy with Mr. Romney’s latest gaffe and his troubled campaign. Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, a fellow Republican who is facing a tough challenge by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, said of Mr. Romney’s statement, “That’s not the way I view the world. As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in.”
Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller echoed similar comments as Senator Brown saying, “I have a very different view of the world and as a United States senator I think I represent everybody.”
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, who spoke at the Republican National Convention, distanced herself from Romney’s remarks: “We have a lot of people that are at the poverty level in New Mexico, but they count just as much as anybody else.”
Some of the most damning comments were made by conservative writer Peggy Noonan who said “It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one. It’s not big, it’s not brave, it’s not thoughtful tackling great issues–An intervention is in order.”
No doubt many Republicans wish there could be an intervention of competence, common sense and charisma. Unfortunately, Mr. Romney seems to be hiding these attributes from the American people—even more than he’s hiding his tax returns.
Ms. Noonan is correct. Mr. Romney’s “campaign is an incompetent one” and the reasons underscore why he’s unfit to be president. As Noonan reiterated his campaign is a “rolling calamity.” Ironically, Mr. Romney had the nerve to say President Obama was “in over his head.” Talk about the “pot calling the kettle black.”
One of the primary reasons Mr. Romney is falling further behind, as the election gets closer, is he hasn’t shown any grasp of understanding the serious issues a president faces. Time and again, he was given nothing but vague answers to critical questions. On last Sunday’s “60 Minutes” interview, Mr. Romney danced around reporter Scott Pelley questions about the specifics of his tax proposals saying, at one point “Well, that’s something Congress and I will have to work out together.”
This excuse has been used to obscure the fact that he cannot cogently explain his positions on these issues.
This is, partly, because he wants to hide the fact that he has no new ideas to offer America. What he has is the same old trickle down “voodoo economics” snake-oil. That failed model was legislated to disastrous consequence during the eight years of George W. Bush—leading to the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression.
But there’s something more objectionable at work here: the stunning intellectual sloth of Mr. Romney.
For years now, Republicans and conservatives have ranted and railed about affirmative action, quotas and minorities who, presumably, get ahead with fewer qualifications. However, the truth is often the exact opposite—and folks like Mr. Romney are stunning examples of this hypocrisy.
It’s no secret Mr. Romney has spent decades planning his presidential run. So, why—given the abundance of time and resources at his disposal—has he been so inept at articulating a vision for why the American people should elect him to the White House? The answer is: he hasn’t taken the personal responsibility to educate himself in those things serious political leaders should know to be effective. He seems to think he can become president without applying the serious studiousness that should be required of any president.
Why is this? Could it be his privilege pedigree has given him a sense of entitlement and made him intellectually indifferent in a similar fashion like George W. Bush?
Shockingly, those who obtain unearned benefits are often the offspring of the wealthy. During his disastrous presidency, President Bush attacked quotas—even though he was the beneficiary of legacy quotas that allowed a below mediocre student like himself to “earn” a degree from Harvard University. Mr. Romney, like Mr. Bush, was born with all the advantages of wealth, yet their political acumen leaves much to be desired.
But, there is another reason Mr. Romney is losing—and even President Bush had enough of this to steal himself a victory: and that’s a personality.
Lately, pundits have been talking about the fact that Romney is having a difficult time connecting with middle-class voters. Some of this is due to the fact that he doesn’t understand the plight of the middle class—and idiotic statements like “corporations are people” don’t help. But that isn’t the only reason.
We’ve had other presidents who were ignorant of the intricacies of political politics. President George W. Bush and President Ronald Reagan were not politically profound on any deep level but both had enough personal charisma to con millions of the American electorate. President Reagan, along with his personal charm, had the added gift of being an actor who knew how to play the part of president—a trait Romney sorely lacks.
In the final analysis, Mitt Romney possesses none of the characteristics a president should have. He’s an uncharismatic, person of privilege who’s woefully ignorant of presidential politics. With less than two months to go in the 2012 Presidential Elections, that smells like defeat for Republicans.
By Colin Benjamin