How Mitt Romney is winning my heart

This is how I’m beginning to feel about Mitt Romney.

I’ve been a fairly depressed Republican. I lost faith in the aftermath of the 2008 election. I was totally discouraged by the way my political party allowed itself to be hijacked by a rogue fringe of extremist ideologues. Yeah, I’m talking about The Tea Party.

See, I’m not the kind of conservative who gets fired up by ideologues. I wasn’t inspired. I was frustrated. In fact, I was as frustrated by The Tea Party as I was by Prez. O. 

I was frustrated because ideologues aren’t servants of the people. Ideologues do not understand the word compromise. They do not understand the concept of working together. They shun cooperation.

Look, I’ve listened to preachers and ideologues my whole life. They do NOT impress me. I don’t care how damn eloquent they are. I don’t care how artfully they can turn a phrase. What I care about is this old-fashioned word called: cooperation.

Cooperation is not popular because it’s boring. It takes work. It takes humility. Cooperation takes a certain kind of humanity, gentleness and ability to compromise: traits that are egregiously lacking in Washington’s current political climate. And the truth is, President Obama did nothing to change that. How could he? He’s never run a successful business, never governed anything. President Obama didn’t even stay in the Senate long enough to build solid, working relationships.

Instead, he tried to ramrod cooperation by saying, “Hey, I won the election!” As if that gave him carte blanche to steamroll his ideology over everyone else. This was a novice mistake–the stark evidence of someone who has zero governance experience.

President Obama is an intellectual ideologue. He was elected on the basis of his high-flying rhetoric and bright, shining promises. President Obama was never a servant of the people. Sure, he gave inspiring speeches about hope. But as Romney recently noted in his foreign policy speech: “Hope is not a strategy.”

Unfortunately, the GOP made a huge mistake by reacting to Obama. The Tea Party rushed in and elected a bunch of hard-line, no-compromise conservatives who vowed to “clean up Washington.” SPOILER ALERT: that didn’t happen.

Here’s why: because the only thing that happens when you stick a bunch of ideologues is one room is….GRIDLOCK.

But then Mitt Romney showed up to the Presidential debate.

I was taken my surprise. Here I was tweeting all these sarcastic tweets and still feeling all disillusioned with the GOP. But somewhere in the middle of the debate I suddenly realized that Mitt Romney was killing it.

He was strong. He was informed. He was damn Presidential.

Mitt Romney made me feel safe. He made me feel like there was a clear road out of this miry economy. And frankly, that’s sort of all I care about right now.

After the debate, I heard my liberal friends bemoan the fact that President Obama “didn’t show up.” Really? I actually thought the Obama we saw during the Presidential debate was the REAL Obama. The only difference was that the debate pulled aside the curtain and exposed the great Wizard of Oz for what he really was: a bumbling pushover who couldn’t even look his opponent in the eye.

By contrast, Mitt Romney made me believe that better days were ahead. OMG, YES WE CAN.

  • Holly


  • Truthseeker

    I agree completely. I hope he gets a chance to repeat for our country what he has done on smaller scale in other arenas. No, he likely isn’t perfect, but he is qualified.

  • Kevin Davis

    As a self-proclaimed “moderate Republican” and “moderate conservative,” you’ve just described exactly what myself and surely many disaffected Republicans/conservatives have felt during the whole mess of the Tea Party take-over during the 2010 congressional run…culminating in the circus freak show known as the Republican primaries. Thankfully, I think those days are finally behind us. All Romney has to do now is, simply, be himself — be the moderate he has always truly been, because sanity, work-ethic, and business experience are exactly what we need now. If Romney can project that image in the next two debates, he’ll win.

  • Nish

    I just wish Romney was more honest.

    Huntsman 2016, baby.

  • Kevin

    I can understand your feeling here, although I do not see Prez O in the same negative way as you do. Ithink your depiction of his governing style is VERY inaccurate. However, one can disagree with his policies and his governing style insofar as it has been ineffective to gain cooperation with the other side. HOWEVER…I must say that it has been the right who is at greater fault here. The Prez has been mediocre but congress has been intransigent. I for one am not going to reward Congress by giving them a Prez who (inexplicably!) has pivoted to the center and co-opted most of Obama’s positions in one 90 minute debate! I too was a life-long Repub…oddly enough the event that finally made me switch was the Terri Schiavo thing in 2006. Suddenly I saw a cynical, do-anything-to-keep-the-religous-right party for what it was. Until their party is not represented by Rush L and Michelle Malkin types I won’t give them my vote. Mitt can’t earn my vote that quickly!!!

  • Tabbi

    And here I thought you were done with cults. Sad.

    • Sarah

      Personal attacks are awesome. And effective. Move along, move along.

    • marie

      Yeah, ’cause Elizabeth giving her personal political opinion definitely indicates she sides with cults.

  • ThatGuyKC

    I know you’re going to get a mix of comments and probably a few fiery trolls. Just want you to know I feel the same way about cooperation.

    Conservatives AND Liberals are responsible for the state of our country. Cooperation and truth are needed on both sides of the aisle.

  • Allison

    Yes, SAFE is my word, too; I like him.

  • Devi Abraham Duerrmeier

    Hi Elizabeth, I read your blog regularly and enjoy your writing, and I have appreciated greatly your thoughts on cults and your honesty about the process of coming out of a cult. I’m sure I will buy your book and get a lot out of it as well.

    I’m not an American so I can’t comment about US politics in the way a voter could, but I do follow it and have done so since I was a university student in Arkansas. I’m not necessarily a Barak Obama fan, but I like him and think he’s a good president.

    I will say that I was surprised to see your comments about Mitt Romney given his membership in the Mormon church, a church that is commonly known as a cult by many. How do you make a distinction between the cults you rightly speak against and this one? In what ways do you think Mitt Romney’s membership in the Mormon church would affect his leadership? It would be great if you could comment about this in your blog in the near future. Thanks.

  • irws

    If I was an US citizen, I would vote for Mitt in a NY minute eh!

  • Janet Oberholtzer

    I do think that Mitt could do more for the economy than Obama did or would… but I have a hard time with the fact that he’s a practicing Mormon.

    No one is responsible for what religion/culture they are born into, but as adults, we are each responsible for who/what we practice/align ourselves with. And though faith is a personal thing and everyone can believe what they want to… I’m frustrated that Mitt is a Mormon, because (along with other things) their view/stance on women and their allowed roles sucks.

  • Anonymous

    It’s difficult to debate with monologue that is principled upon dreamy je ne sais quoi and conclusions regarding ambiguous terms of cooperativeness and idealogical ram-rodding. I agree that Romney is from leadership stock. Being raised at the foot of a wealthy businessman and politician conveys a lot of in-situ education and networking that are difficult to pick up via any book or college.

    If he were to acknowledge that from a standpoint of noblesse oblige, I would support him. In reality, however, I see only that he is either ignorant or uncaring of how few other people receive that advantage in life, and that if we truly want this country to succeed we have to actively pursue the offering of such opportunities for the rest of the nation. I find no consolation of seeing such a thing in the GOP’s running platform on that point. Rather, I see only calls to further loosen the already minimal burdens on the most advantaged, and redistribute that weight to the rest. No thanks.

  • Lara

    Politically I’m pretty left. In fact I’m often so left that Obama is too right for me. =) That said, I walked away from the debates feeling like the world wouldn’t end if Romney became president. He seemed very reasonable and prepared for the challenge. I would miss PBS and I would be bummed if Obamacare got slashed, but I also realize there are more important things than both of those. I wasn’t too worried anymore and that felt good.

    Then yesterday I turned on my computer to see an MSNBC article that Romney wants to give weapons to Syrian rebels and all my fears returned. We’ve done that exact same thing before, you know. It has never turned out well. Ugh.

  • KatR

    The best thing about Mitt is that there’s a Mitt for everyone. There’s a pro choice Mitt and a pro life Mitt, a gay rights Mitt and and anti gay rights Mitt, a Mitt who loves healthcare reform and a Mitt who will repeal it on day one, a Mitt who will save Medicare and a Mitt who will voucherize it. Just depends on the day, sometimes the hour, you happen to catch him.

  • Ami

    Elizabeth, I appreciate this post. Not because you’re backing the same candidate I am, but because you presented your personal reasons without attacking or name calling.
    Thank you.

    • Hippie Gramma

      “Bumbling pushover?” “Prez O?” I guess it could be worse, but I was a little disappointed with the post precisely because of the name-calling.

      I don’t believe people can make good, rational voting decisions when they’ve been manipulated into such strong emotional investment in a candidate.

      The sad part is, all that emotion is for naught. The President has far less power to change things than we like to give him credit for.

      • Ami

        I was mostly referring to calling the voters names. There is too much of that on either side. People are going to have passionate opinions about the candidates and I can somewhat understand that. Where I draw the line is when people based solely on how they are voting become targets.

        • Hippie Gramma

          Ah, that makes more sense to me, and I agree; my sole goal during the hot political seasons is to not lose relationships over politics. As that is often NOT a goal of others in those relationships, this can become quite a task. :)

  • Anonymous

    I agree that this is a well written post, although I agree that calling Obama a “bumbling pushover” when he was clearly ill or something and did poorly in the debate does fall into name calling.

    I think Romney is either a liar, or has not one idea what he believes. I think this is truth telling, not name calling. I worry he will be a foreign relations nightmare. Paul Ryan scares me, literally shows up in my nightmares. You can’t be a devout Roman Catholic and love Ayn Rand, and all the backpedaling and slight of hand can’t make the former manifestations of these two men anything like what they presume to be now. The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, but wait–Mitt Romney was pro choice and Paul Ryan advocated a sort of survival of the fittest economic program. I’m really confused about how suddenly these positions are not relevant.
    I believe that Obama, if not thwarted at every turn by malicious political wrangling, can effect much of the change he proposed early on. I’d rather cast my lot with that than with the continually changing policies of the Romney Ryan ticket.

    • zan

      “clearly ill?” Really?! HAHAHAHAHA!!! BTW, pretty sure you can’t be a devout Catholic and vote for infanticide. Just fyi…

      • Anonymous

        That’s nasty and unhelpful, Zan. Mitt was pro choice in his previous incarnation and may still be….who knows?

      • eileen

        I don’t think many people vote “for infanticide” even if they believe that abortion is a woman’s choice (and in fact, they tend to support harm reduction efforts such as comprehensive sex education and widely available birth control–two things that reduce, not increase, abortions) And I don’t think that many people who call it voting “for infanticide” consider what great harm conservative domestic and social policies do to infants (especially ones born into poverty) and mothers.

  • Kristen Rosser

    Believe it or not, President Obama is also a moderate. He’s just a moderate Dem instead of a moderate Rep. I’m a moderate too and have been reasonably happy with him, and I’m very suspicious of what the Tea-Party Republicans in Congress will think they’ve been given a license to do if Romney-Ryan wins. Ryan, at any rate, is certainly a Tea Party conservative and I don’t want him anywhere near the Presidency.

    I thought the Romney as seen in the debate seemed not so bad– but that’s just one of the many faces he’s shown us so far. As for President Obama– I thought he looked tired, and I can understand how tired a man in his position can get. I want to see what the next few debates are like.

  • Pedro M. Rosario Barbosa

    Well, I disagree with you, dear Elizabeth, but I adore you. I’m not pro-Obama (I’m not pro-Romney either), but still, I don’t think that the Obama in the presidential debate was the “real” Obama. I don’t think that the Romney that showed up in the debate is the “real” Romney either. When I elect a politician, I focus more on the content of what he or she is proposing, usually I can care less what a certain politician makes me “feel”. Politicians have abused the feelings of people for centuries. Mitt may not be Tea Party, but I don’t think that Mitt is truthful, or that he will handle the economy better than previous presidents, including Obama. Those are just my thoughts.

  • Renee Ronika

    Holy freaking sh!t, Elizabeth. That’s it. You need to come to dinner. My husband and I had this exact conversation earlier in the week. The only thing we would add (since we’re now the singular plural) is that Obama knows his rhetoric failed. He knows he can’t push what he was selling, and that’s why he couldn’t perform. He knows it’s not working. And, who knows, maybe he genuinely feels bad about it. Maybe he doubts himself.

    I was not a Mitt fan, and I don’t think I am now, but I agree with more of his policies. I believe in his vision for the economy, for foreign policy. He reminds me of Reagan. And I like what Reagan did for our country. He was a bad ass.

    I think your spiritual motivation gift is “leader,” by the way. This is just my sense since I unfortunately don’t know you. Whatever the case, keep speaking up, friend; your message of unity is being heard.

  • Sara

    All I`m going to say about Mitt Romney is this:


    • Jamie

      All I’m going to say about Barack Obama is this: $16,000,000,000,000+.

      • Jamie

        Oh, also: Bengazi.

  • Martha Brady

    i think i’m with you in much of what you say. i feel that in order for the country to move, we will need to get both “sides” talking and working together. I think he not only can listen and find ways to get both to work together…which HAS to come from leadership! but he also has the ability to work toward solutions to the financial and job building issues.

    there is no perfect candidate…but i think he is one who i can get enthused over as i learn more and more about him.

    am i glad to have the influence of tea partiers in congress and the House? absolutely! their influence is definitely changing attitudes in the direction of dealing with finances in a drastic way. i’m glad to have them in government. But i don’t see one as president to be the answer to our situation. i don’t think democrats would talk to them…even if one could win an election for the whole country.

  • Anonymous

    Likely you will be disappointed in Romney. He will continue the globalist agenda and the police state will grow. He will further the same Council on Foreign Relations agenda for wars in the Middle East. BO and Romney were almost alike on foreign policy. An investment banker who likes the Federal Reserve. You want to go
    by your feelings. I support neither candidate. No hope, negligible
    change. Regards. Anonymous.