Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Mitt Romney should say if he wants to be President

First, let me start off by saying that it's my sincere hope Mitt Romney doesn't become President. But if he would like to (which I think he does), I think he should say something to this effect at the next debate:

"I want to reduce spending and the federal deficit as much as anybody else on this stage, but at the end of the day we must raise the debt ceiling. The results of not doing so would be catastrophic both to this nation's economy, and to our international standing. There's a delicate balance of power between the United States and the nations we've outsourced our debt to, and the implications of a shift in that balance could literally end up costing American lives."

For starters, it's the right thing to do. This might not be worth much to a political chameleon like Mitt Romney, but he knows it's what has to be done, and so does every other serious Republican. It's fine to use leverage to negotiate something you want, but at the end of the day you can't be responsible for a second worldwide financial disaster. Every Republican is refusing to play the part of a leader- to be the grown up and sit the kids down and tell them "it's time to do this." It's an opportunity for Romeny to look Presidential, rather than just another politician (which, again, so far hasn't been his strong suit).

The sooner Romney realizes that he can't out tea-party Michelle Bachman, the better off he'll be. Everybody sees Romney's recent catering to the ultra-right for what it is. This has always been a problem for him, going back to his flip flops on abortion, health care, and pretty much everything else in the Republican platform. Anybody who identifies with that movement has better, more genuine options than the Mormon from Massachusetts- wait no, Utah- no, Michigan- no, New Hampshire! Right now Romney doesn't really stand for anything, so why not try to paint a picture of him as the no nonsense independent ('maverick'?). That's what voters in New Hampshire- the crucial state in his strategy- like to see.

Pragmatism is all that Mitt Romney has going for him. That pragmatic attitude that he's the best candidate to beat Obama in the general election is why he's the front runner in polls and fundraising. So why not build on top of strengths, rather than weaknesses? Because, if this is a race to see who can appeal most to the tea party of 2010, then Mitt Romney can't win whatever he does.

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