Thursday, January 04, 2007

Presidential Primary politics are starting to touch the first state. Now that we are an early primary/caucus state, it is time we start thinking about the future leadership of our nation. I am amazed at the number of spontaneous conversations that erupt on the 2008 elections among people who normally don't talk politics in the past month. It seems like it is on everyone's mind and not just those of us who are political junkies. That is a good sign for our state. People need to take politics seriously, public policy affects our lives daily and personally. The interest rates, taxes, where we live, crime rates, and education for our children and ourselves is just a start.

My take on 2008 is that the field is not yet determined. I don't have a favorite yet in either party. I am starting to warm up to Mitt Romney, the outgoing Governor of Massachusetts.

What impresses me about Gov. Romney are three things. He has an ability to identify both problems and solutions. He has developed an ability to communicate his vision to the public beyond the consultants (he blew the lead in the Senate race because he waffled while Kennedy led.) He has a unique leadership style which takes the best of business efficiency and political savvy.

He is a man who knows when to fight and when to dine. He knows when to sit down and come up with a collaborative approach (instead of compromise), when to cut the loses, and when to stand and fight. I could give examples of each.

Healthcare, he took the best of everyone's ideas and gave everyone ownership. The same is true of education policy. The turnpike, he stood and fought for the people's interest. Putting the marriage issue on the ballot, even as a lame duck, he just rolled the intransigent Speaker with an amazing bipartisan coalition. On budget policy, facing a 10 to 1 democratic majority, he focused on what was important and compromised on the rest by getting the best deal he could.

What really impressed me was the fact he did all this in an hostile environment. He had few allies and powerful people always trying to trip him up. He developed his leadership in the fire of political war. I admire that. He may have what it takes in these troubled times.

He can unite moderates and conservatives. You moderates should be happy because he favored gay rights. Yet conservatives like myself find that mitigated because he strikes a balance of preserving family values too plus McCain and Giuliani give us worst choices. Governor Romney stood and fought for our values in an intensely hostile environment while those other guys can't even find their voice when it is popular. They both oppose a marriage protection amendment. He has been a leading advocate. He just managed to roll the speaker of the Mass. House and get the issue on the ballot even as a lame duck. I bet the new governor also did not want his term dominated by the controversy.

He is a fiscal conservative. He wants to secure the border first and solve the problem of those here (I can't wait to hear his solution).He is a moral conserative. He is strong on National Defense. He is one of the great entrepreneurs of our time. He makes sense when he speaks and looks good on TV to boot. The latter is not of great importance, but it helps in the media age.

2 Comments:

Anonymous kavips said...

Romney is a worthy candidate. But remembering McCain in 80, one has to ask how he will play in South Carolina?

Will he look like a John Kerry as he clothes himself in conservative trappings? The extreme conservatives will have his every liberal moment plugged in, locked and loaded, with their fingers over the button.

Again, far to early to tell.

9:05 PM  
Blogger David said...

I have conservative friends who tell me that he has not been conservative long enough and they worry about the message it would send to endorse someone who is part of "a false religion".

I agree that someone like Newt could cut the rug out from under Mitt. I like the Speaker, but I just don't think he believes he can win the general election and won't run.

10:07 PM  

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