Mitt Romney has barely been seen in public since his not-so-gracious concession speech from a little over a week ago. Really, I feel a little sorry for Mitt Romney. For the last two years, he’s done nothing besides eat, drink and sleep presidential politics. He turned his whole life upside-down so that he could run for president. As a matter fact, Mitt Romney spent more than just the last two years running for president. To be honest, Mitt Romney’s been running for president for more than a decade. Remember, he ran for Senate and lost. I don’t think he ran for Senate because he had some great desire to be a senator. He ran for Senate because he thought it be an excellent stepping stone to the presidency. He ran for governor of Massachusetts and won. He didn’t want to be governor of the state of Massachusetts. Instead, he wanted to use it as a springboard into the White House. His plan almost worked.
Today, Mitt Romney stuck his head out of his multimillion dollar mansion just long enough to speak with donors. Mitt Romney could’ve been gracious. He could have thanked his donors for all their hard work. He could’ve been magnanimous. Instead, Mitt Romney was a bowl of sour grapes. The reason that he lost, according to Mitt Romney, was because President Obama “focused on giving targeted groups a big gift.” This is the same line of thinking that Bill O’Reilly displayed when he said 50% of Americans simply want stuff from the government. Mitt Romney didn’t lose because he had the nerve to say that illegal (undocumented) immigrants should self deport (which may be the stupidest idea ever to be uttered by a presidential candidate). He didn’t lose because he didn’t support the Dream Act. Mitt Romney did not lose the election because he alienated women by being completely unclear on multiple issues important to women. He didn’t lose because he opposed Obama Care. Instead, he lost because the president appealed to people by offering to give them things. Sour grapes.
Mitt Romney lost the presidential campaign because he didn’t understand electoral politics. Mitt Romney lost because the presidential race came down to seven or eight states –Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada. He never had a winning strategy to significantly move the needle in these battleground states. He continued to appeal to Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. Once he won the Republican nomination, he had those states in his back pocket. He never changed his ultraconservative positions. Those positions caused him to lose in the states that he needed to win. The fact that he almost won Florida, Virginia and Ohio is immaterial. Winning those states still wouldn’t have gotten him the nomination. He needed to do more.
With nobody but himself to blame, I suspect that he is sitting around his mansion eating a bowl of sour grapes and spitting the seeds on the floor just so that he can watch the help pick them up. Poor Mitt and his sour grapes.
Friend of mine sent out a very passionate email about our electoral process and how neither candidate is ideal. He ended his email by stating how we all need to work together in order to solve our problems. I think that sounds extremely nice. I think it is important for us to all work together to solve our problems. Unfortunately, over the last 15 years, as our politics has become more and more polarized, we have done less working together. When I look at the really big issues that are facing the United States, I don’t believe that Congress, state capitals or even our local governments are honestly tackling any of these problems. I would love to be able to sit here and tell you that once Barack Obama gets reelected as president we are all going to live in harmony. Hogwash. Fox News still exists.
One of the most interesting things that has happened in this election is that the president has figured out a coalition of states to get to the magic number 270. At the beginning of this election cycle all of the smart electoral gurus said that everything came down to Ohio and Florida. Without winning Ohio and Florida it would be difficult for anyone to win the presidency. It looks as if the president has put together a coalition of states which could compensate for Florida. (Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada)
I suspect that President Obama will win reelection. I also believe that he has probably six to twelve months of momentum and political clout. During that time, he should be able to get a couple of big things accomplished. The question is what is he going to tackle? Look for the opposition to any of his ideas to be extremely fierce. The makeup of Congress will be critical to his ability to get anything of substance accomplished.
In spite of some of the pessimism that I have dished out, I hope that we do address some of our problems – deteriorating roads and bridges, a desperate need to upgrade our electrical grid, the need to truly transform from a petroleum-based economy. We must figure out a way to raise the average salary of middle-class America. These are just a few of the things that we need to tackle. I’m still optimistic that somehow, someway, we’ll begin to address some of our core issues.
The whole process starts with you and me being informed and involved. Vote!