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February 4, 2008
Why I Support Mitt
Romney: Leadership Substance
The dynamics of political party connections, the political process
itself and public perceptions have once again yielded the top two
contenders of each major party in the 2008 presidential race. And once
again, the public can only hope that the ultimate winner of the White
House will be a candidate with the most leadership substance.
vote is for Mitt Romney.
History is important, but the future is more important. Making history
is nice, but nice can’t make critical decisions. The success of this
country in the future will be shaped by the leadership abilities of the
Our success will not be based on opinion polls, pandering to the
uninformed voters, promising emotional quick fixes over common sense,
nitpicking of opponents’ past records or mastering the art of the media
sound bite. Success will come from focusing on the right problems and
solving those problems. That will mean making tough decisions about some
problems that have been with us for decades. It will also mean taking a
tough stand on new problems and challenges.
That’s what leaders do.
Mitt Romney has done that as a chief executive officer in business, as a
governor and as head of the U.S. Olympics. He has done so while
balancing political consequences, but not compromising fundamental
principles of the founding of this country or free-market economics. We
have prospered as a nation by strengthening those principles, and will
not remain strong if we allow those principles to become diluted with a
lack of leadership.
Anyone who wishes to find a reason not to vote for Romney can easily
find one. But the reasons to vote for him are far more compelling. He
has successfully managed a real business with other people’s money and
some of his own. He has balanced budgets. He successfully led a
turnaround situation with the Olympics. And he has spent more of his
career outside government than inside.
the other hand, John McCain has spent more of his career inside
government than outside, and the reasons not to vote for him as the
Republican nominee are very compelling.
voted against letting people keep more of their money in 2001 and 2003
when President Bush pushed through his tax cuts. He has been part of the
escalation of the federal debt during his 20-plus years in the U.S.
Senate. He showed questionable leadership on a failed immigration bill
that was rejected by the public. And he showed no leadership by failing
to support the president’s efforts to establish personal retirement
accounts – a proposal that would have started to fix the coming
financial train wreck in the Social Security system.
That’s not leadership.
do not question the character, integrity or sincerity of either Mitt
Romney or John McCain, nor do I question their desire to do what’s best
for the country if elected. I do not worry, as some people do, that they
would fan the flames of social and religious differences. My focus is on
their prospective leadership relative to national security, the economy,
federal spending, free-market health care solutions and the elimination
of dysfunctional programs.
Mitt Romney’s history is more indicative of the substance needed to make
major progress on critical issues, and not just to make more politically
palatable incremental changes in Washington D.C.
Media momentum and campaign funding aside, there are several other
Republican presidential candidates who would not cause me to worry about
our grandchildren’s future. The two leading Democratic presidential
candidates, however, would cause me great concern because of their
severe lack of leadership substance and their policy proposals.
This is despite Barack Obama’s appeal and strong public perception, but
entirely consistent with Hillary Clinton’s self-proclaimed, invisible
Great leaders are born and good leaders keep working on it. We are not
favored with an obvious great leader in the 2008 presidential race, as
is apparent from the primary process and the results thus far.
But Mitt Romney’s leadership credentials offer the best hope of a leader
with substance, and the best hope for a good president who could turn
out to be great.
Herman Cain is a radio
talk show host on WSB 750 AM in Atlanta, airing weeknights from 7-10
p.m. He is also a syndicated columnist with North Star Writers Group.
© 2008 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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