The election is still a week away, far too soon to spike the ball. However, it is time to acknowledge that this has been a very surprising – and revealing –election, especially for Bay Staters.
President Obama has already spent more than $1 Billion dollars trying to convince the voters of primarily three things:
- He has done a great job as President and deserves a second term.
- Republicans – specifically George W. Bush - were responsible for the mess that he inherited and that America faces.
- Mitt Romney is little more than a corporate marauder, no better than an anti-women’s rights pretender, a retro - not forward – thinker, and a super-rich guy who pays low taxes.
It’s amazing how little you get for a billion bucks these days. Despite all the money and the messaging, America has increasingly been tuning Obama out. After all, no amount of money could blind We the people to what we saw during the debates. One of the candidates stood tall and spoke intelligently. The other candidate interrupted frequently and had no teleprompter. One candidate’s appearance was confident and Presidential - more than was expected. The other’s appearance seemed different from what we have seen, petulant and arrogant – less than desired. One spoke with great love of America, and respect for the Presidency. The other showed disdain for his opponent, and an entitlement to the Presidency.
As Lincoln said, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Win or lose, Obama has been exposed for what he is, which is so much less than people four years ago wanted him to be. His “brand”, so important after the last election, is shattered. Should he win, how can he possibly lead going forward when the people now know he is too little at a time when the Country needs so much more?
The net effect is this: Romney is gaining by the day; Obama is shrinking by the hour. Romney is talking about the big picture; Obama about Big Bird. Romney is connecting with sincerity. Obama is disconnecting with desperation. Romney has a plan for all America; Obama a plan to tax the wealthy. Romney talks about leadership; Obama about his presidency. Romney’s closing is about his optimism for America’s future; Obama’s is that Romney is only for the rich.
And, hovering above Obama’s sullied likeability is the ghost of Presidents past. What did he know about Libya? When did he know it? Why is he hiding it? Why didn’t he take action? Perhaps he’s waiting for Donald Trump to offer him $5M more to answer these questions.
But, there is a bitter irony to Mr. Romney’s run that is grossly upsetting to Massachusetts liberals, a one-party rule bully majority that has been in political denial for more than 50 years when they began mindlessly confusing the values of Edward Kennedy from his brother John. As a result, and even to this very day when the Boston Globe not so shockingly endorsed Elizabeth Warren, and yet another Kennedy, Massachusetts’s Democrats have been completely out-of-touch with the rest of America – at least the rest of America that lives more than 100 miles away from Cambridge. But, it’s not just that Massachusetts’ Democrats are so different, it’s that they are so misguidedly and arrogantly hubristic about it.
In fact, Massachusetts’ reputation as a political wasteland and radical fringe outlier is perhaps the major reason for Romney’s end of campaign surge. Consider a little recent history. Michael Dukakis, a governor who taxed anything that moved, and regulated everything else that didn’t, was soundly trounced by George H.W. Bush in 1988. His candidacy remains a joke to this day. His demise was repeated in 2004 by another tax and spender, his former Lt. Governor, now Senator and tax evasion advocate John Kerry. Add in the other faces of Democratic Massachusetts like Kennedy, Barney Frank, three consecutive imprisoned Speakers et als, and you have a State that is routinely dismissed and disregarded by most of America.
Think about it. America has rejected Massachusetts Democratic liberals Dukakis, Kerry, and even Ted Kennedy in 1980, yet is whole-heartedly embracing Republican Mitt Romney, of whom Massachusetts liberals can offer few kind words, and even less respect. That should speak volumes about the political thinking in this State.
That Mitt Romney was able to get elected Governor in Massachusetts, then have significant legislative and fiscal success with a legislature composed of 87% Democrats, has only added enormous stature – and credibility - to his potential to govern among Independent voters across the Country. It’s as if he has passed the political acid test of actual governing – the ability to bring reason to the certifiably unreasonable, sense to the insensible.
So, what’s the message? We the people want practical, common sense solutions, not ideological polarity. We want – and desperately need – government to work. We need someone to lead, not read from a teleprompter. Romney has the track record of being able to do exactly this in the most unreasonable of jurisdictions.
And, we can credit Massachusetts Democrats with helping him develop those skills.
Once again I ask Unenrolled voters. “Who is the best candidate?” For this Country? At this time? Is it going to be more of the same from a diminishing President, or a new beginning with a bi-partisan-oriented leader? History can be made if – at least just once in our lifetime – Massachusetts’ voters do not behave so radically different from the rest of the Country. This is the time.