I understand why people will vote for Romney for President. I want to say that I like him a lot on some issues such as his moderation on social issues, fiscal decisions that seem to make you better than worse off, and a great career in the private sector. He is the mostly ‘good’ candidate, especially on paper. He has a broad range of experiences from being a bishop in the Church of Latter Day Saints, a Republican governor of the most Democratic state, and extremely successful at Bain Capital. But a president cannot only be good at decisions.
Four (4) years ago, I supported then-New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for the Democratic nomination for US President. He had an extremely good resume: U.S. House Representative, Ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary of Energy, and then-current Governor of New Mexico. He did not really have any private sector experience, but he was good at whatever he did. He, however, would have been a great chief executive, but not as president.
As I have stated before, the U.S. President is unique in the world that he is both the chief executive and the head of state of a democratically elected country. Head of state means (to me) that he has to represent America to the world and be the embodiment of the American people. Along with being able to govern, those qualities are what should make a U.S. President.
Bill Richardson would not have passed the bar for being head of state, but I would vote for him over Romney in the head-of-state category. I am discouraged that Romney’s primary accomplishment of health care reform in Massachusetts as governor now seems like anathema which makes him look like he bases his decisions on political expediency. He has a long history of involvement with the LDS church – including tithing a significant amount of money to the church, which I believe is an admirable quality – but does not want to open up to the public on that significant part of his life. One cannot be closed to the people he governs, especially as president. I unfortunately do not think of him as empathizing with the poor, disenfranchised, and/unemployed even though his policies “could” help them; he does not seem genuine in the convictions that he holds, which is basically the opposite of how Ron Paul has led his (political) life.
Focusing on the current president, Barack Obama, I am disappointed that I did not vote for him in the general election and voted for Libertarian Bob Barr (even though I lived in California and saying my vote did not really count there is not a good enough excuse). I really did believe in Bob Barr and thought his policies would be better for the country. However, I have never been more convinced that Barack Obama is the right person to be the US president. There are many polls that say that voters have lost enthusiasm with him, but that it definitely not where I stand. Obama has lifted my hope for a better tomorrow.
Cliches aside, he has actually done what he has said he would do: healthcare reform and reforming the methodology of student loans to the betterment of those who are receiving them. He (and his family) are the embodiment of the American way of life. A community organizer, then a state senator 4 years later, a US senator 4 years later, and the President of the United States 4 years later again. Contrary to what Sarah Palin said that a community organizer is “kind of like” governing, I think it is the epitome of the struggle of those who are lowest on the socioeconomic rungs just trying to get a fighting chance to move upwards. The story that he once helped pay for some strangers’ unexpected, extra baggage fees made me believe that the US President can indeed know what it is like to be the middle-class.
I don’t disagree that Romney could be good for America, I’m just saying that Obama is better (suited). Jennifer Granholm‘s opinion in Politico’s Opinion: The Bubble Candidate was a more formalized description of what I have been thinking in the past few months throughout the course of the election. Romney thinks he knows what is best for the middle class because theory tells him so. Obama knows what is best for the middle class because he has been there.