Thursday, June 2, 2011

Making the Case for Mitt

MittI've long prided myself on a personal opposition to Mitt Romney's candidacy. In fact, during the 2008 primary, I made it a point of personal pride to oppose Mitt at every turn. See here, here, here, here, herehere, and especially here, as a small sampling. Imagine my surprise at penning the headline of this post.

But with my man Huckabee out of the race, no real cream rising to the top of the GOP field, Jason Alexander's blessing and today's announcement of his campaign for President, this afternoon seemed like the perfect opportunity to reconsider Mitt Romney's candidacy.

(See Mitt's campaign kickoff speech here. It's a bit hokey, but not bad on balance.)

Fortunately, Mark McKinnon's article in yesterday's Daily Beast provided just the second look I needed. In fact, despite having been a former McCain advisor, McKinnon's piece actually makes a pretty, damn good case for Mitt winning the GOP nomination:

Mitt Romney is a businessman, a turnaround artist, a CEO. That is who he is. The former governor has experience in the public and private sector. He uniquely understands the economy of both worlds. And that is what makes him different than President Obama. To wear a tie is not to adopt some pseudo-sartorial persona à la Naomi "Al-you-must-wear-earth-tones" Wolf; to wear a tie is a statement of his strength as a CEO, a reminder to voters stressed by the nation's economic sclerosis.

Brought in as CEO to rescue the financially and ethically bankrupt 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Romney turned the organization's $379 million deficit into a $100 million profit. As CEO of Bain Capital, Romney invested in businesses, making venture capital available to fuel innovation and improve profitability. And as CEO of Massachusetts, Gov. Romney streamlined the executive branch, consolidated agencies, and closed corporate tax loopholes to help address a $3 billion inherited budget deficit.


Given the state of the economy, Drudge's alarms that we're entering the next great depression (let not your hearts be troubled, we aren't), and Obama's penchant for being long on locution and short on solutions, I can see where a candidate with strong economic bona fides would play well in most parts of the country.

When I further consider that President Obama wouldn't know a balanced budget from the price of arugula, well, it's almost enough to make me call up Mitt's Tucson office to get on board - if only he had one.

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