Thursday, September 27, 2012

Seize the Moment

Mitt Romney is clearly going through a trial by fire with his daily decline in the polls and the endless barrage of negative media observations and increasing criticisms from his own party.  The mantle of “loser” is slowly being placed on his head and in politics a loser is barely a footnote in history.

But lost in all the haste of media analysis is one simple truth and that is that we learn more in defeat than in victory.  This is not meant as an endorsement of the former but rather a recognition that in times of stress we have the opportunity to reach into ourselves and do that which we instinctively know to be right.

In this case, Romney, more than anyone, knows he sacrificed a large part of his integrity in order to be the nominee.  But now the very people he catered to are pulling away in direct proportion to his drop in the polls. Even his wife is lashing out in frustration.

However, Romney holds the ultimate power lever if he is willing to use it:  “to thine own self be true”.

This advice from Shakespeare has incredible potency.  Every great President from Washington on allowed their inner self to define their governance.  Certainly, they had their moments of pandering but they never allowed that to define them.  They had an instinct for doing that which is right and the courage to carry it out.  That is why we celebrate them as leaders.

Romney would be well advised to seize the moment and stand tall.  Set aside a day for a major speech and once and for all put an end to this “birther” campaign which is a cancer on the Republican brand.  Forthrightly,  paint a picture of an America that recognizes all shades of people united by a common sense of decency and community.  Declare without hesitation that competitive politics is about challenging ideas and not the ugliness of bigotry.

Americans, regardless of party affiliation, expect both parties and their candidates to fully uphold the fundamental principles of human rights that are a basis for a democratic society.  We are committed to “one nation under God” and we fully embrace the aspirations and services of all and self-appointed voices of suspicion and divisiveness have no place in American politics.

Leadership endures when it embraces all of us and radiates with optimism and confidence.  It is an inclusive vision for tomorrow.

For Mitt Romney, his leadership is now being tested.  Will he…


  1. I would never run for political office UNLESS my leading political and campaign adviser would be the former governor, Arne Carlson. He has an extraordinary and uncanny sense of politics and communications. I watched him in action and I've never seen anything like it. Candidate Romney would do well to heed (at least give serious thought)to what Governor Carlson says. Frankly, I think he calls it perfectly.

  2. All I can say is "this too shall pass" That's the good news. The bad how much damage the two sides will cause in the meantime. Any suggestions Governor?

  3. Without integrity, we are nothing; without integrity, we are losers in so many ways, not the least of which is a complete collapse of self-confidence which oozes from every pore of our being - and this has shone through Romney's rhetoric from the day he began to reverse his moderate positions and toward the pandering that all the wrong people must have advised him to engage. Away from taking pride in whatever courage and commitment it took to stand foursquare behind such initiatives as Massachusetts' health program. He was utterly unconvincing as he pursued the nomination with platitudes and pandering after a relative successful governorship.

    Still, his sense of entitlement and the disdain displayed for half the nation's population revealed far more of the man that the political ease with which he flipped on policy positions - and this was the nail in the campaign's coffin after shedding his credibility in the primary, debate by debate.

    As Jeffrey Toobin ("The Nine" and "The Oath") stated flatly last night, to the consternation of journalists facing six weeks of futile campaigning, "It's over. Let's just say it out loud." For this fact, any johnny-come-lately assertion of "leadership" now will surely fall flat.

  4. Too late, Governor, too late. He has destroyed his own self image and worth with his pandering and inability to tell the truth. His callous disregard for most of the country's population will be his legacy for the footnote.

    The GOP put up a marionette and a nut for this campaign, knowing full well they will lose. But this has served its purpose. On the Wednesday following the Tuesday night totals, the GOP will turn to the TP'ers and say, "You cannot win elections for us, now go away." They will begin the arduous task of bringing the party back to the reasonable center...and then they will anoint Jeb Bush for 2016.

    I still won't vote Republican; but the debate should be more civil as a result.

  5. Well said Governor Carlson! To me, Mr. Romney is a potentially good candidate who's wrong for 2012. What's Romney's strength? Pragmatism. Deal making. Cutting to the chase. It's how Romney made money in business. It's how pretty much any of us make money in business. That could be Romney's brand.

    But not in 2012, not with the Tea Party and Grover Norquist. Pragmatism is weakness. Deal making is compromise. Cutting to the chase is selling out.

    No wonder Romney's campaign is struggling to find focus. The man is asked to be what he is not. He'd have to be one heck of an actor to pull that one off.

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