July 30, 2014

Why I will not vote for Mitt Romney

I am supposed to like Mitt Romney. Some of my GOP friends refer to me as a “squishy Dem” which is actually true. My closest friends and clients on the GOP side are all solidly behind Romney from day one. (The vast majority of them are much more conservative than Romney which begs the question regarding his supporters; dyed-in-the-wool supporters or cold political calculation?) I am expected to fall in line. I am the exact kind of voter a candidate like Mitt Romney is supposed to attract.

Except, that is not the case. There are two major reasons.

First, Mitt Romney does not stand for anything. The easiest way to explain this is to refer you to this article right here. I am not for ideological purity (I’m pro-life, but I was a Bob Ehrlich supporter…and a Hillary Clinton supporter. More on that later.), but I am for authenticity. Don’t run your talking points by a focus group or a poll before you adopt them as your own. If you are a liberal, don’t be ashamed of it. If you are a conservative, let that be known. However, don’t try to be cute with it and have it every single way possible. A friend to all is a friend to none.

I met Mitt Romney in person once. He did not impress me. He came off publicly as stiff, scripted, aloof, and manufactured. John Kerry, much?

Second, a good number of Mitt Romney’s supporters take offense to my political allegiances. I have always regarded Romney’s base of supporters as elitist, entitled, and exclusive, especially inside the Beltway. The easiest way to see this play out is to mention that you are a supporter of Sarah Palin as I am (I’m not that conservative, if at all, but there are are many non-political and political reasons as to why I’m a fan of Governor Palin.). The reaction you get from Romney supporters ranges from tepid to visceral.

When I am in a room full of Romney supporters and I hear disparaging remarks about Sarah Palin, I kindly mention that if it were not for Sarah Palin, I would still be a Democrat today and would not have likely did all this work for GOP candidates, some of whom have become like family to me (the family ties are priceless). Many of these Romney supporters, knowing the sweat equity I have put in for GOP candidates since ’09 and understanding the need to build the party, would just as gladly see me excommunicated from the GOP along with Sarah Palin and the rest of the Palinistas. It is insulting and unwelcoming.

It is all about power with Romney and his supporters. “Big tent” they are not.

Here is my one single bit of advice for the Romney camp. As much as I don’t fit in with Romney supporters and neither do they want me, Mitt Romney as an individual out of the spotlight, is actually a good guy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing up the character and personal qualities of the candidate to the point where it rivals issue positions. In fact, that is my modus operandi as a consultant and I know it works.

It is far too late in the game for Romney to change course however. Instead of running as a role model and a uniter from the start which would have been a safer and more steady strategy, he has been running as anything that looks good in the polls. Romney’s recent iteration before a conservative CPAC crowd is being “severely conservative” despite a public record to the contrary.

I am “severely convinced” that Mitt Romney will not earn my vote.

Further Reading:

Cottle, Michelle (Jan. 14, 2012). Mitt Romney: The GOP’s Own John Kerry, or Is He More an Al Gore? The Daily Beast. Retrieved from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/14/mitt-romney-the-gop-s-own-john-kerry-or-is-he-more-an-al-gore.html

Thier, Dave (Feb. 1, 2012). Mitt Romney is the John Kerry of The GOP. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2012/02/01/mitt-romney-is-the-john-kerry-of-the-gop/

About Phil Tran

Phil Tran is the premier political consultant and web developer for pro-life female candidates and elected officials in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. He is a political independent.

Comments

  1. Gerrie says:

    This is an interesting post, Phil: thoughtful and insightful, as it is very much reflective of your personality. And as you well know, your work and devotion here in Virginia is legendary. However, as a friend, may I caution you that not voting for Mitt is a vote for the opposition?

    The simple fact of the matter is that you are an intelligent, informed and sophisticated voter, which sets you far and away apart from the usual voter. Most people are not informed, yet each of our votes carries identical weight when tabulated. In contrast, your opinion does carry weight, and could influence others to behave accordingly as you have outlined. This would be unfortunate.

    Is there a ‘perfect’ candidate for any office? We go with the army we’ve got.

  2. Phil Tran says:

    Gerrie:

    Your comment merits three additional in-depth articles that I have had on the docket for awhile. I present teasers as a threefold response.

    First, President Barack Obama’s policies deserve critique, to say the least. I met with a Democratic buddy of mine last week and we had a lengthy discussion about the Presidential race. He agreed with me that Obama’s policies have not fulfilled its lofty goals. He also said that America deserves to hear a dialogue on contrasting ideas that are well-thought out and articulated succinctly without hyperbole, grandstanding, and demonization on both sides. My Democratic friend wants a strong GOP contender to Obama so that our democracy can function properly.

    Unfortunately, we have a wishy-washy, finger-in-the-wind politician who makes super-rich, out-of-touch gaffes in Romney. We have a partisan hack who was proud of being a “team player” during an era of GOP control and overreach in Washington who is now trying to appeal to an aging, soon-to-be obsolete, socially conservative demographic in Rick Santorum. We also have the man who almost singlehandedly destroyed the GOP with his power trips, greed, and hypocrisy during his time as Speaker of the House coming back after about a decade in the wilderness who could conceivably win this primary if he didn’t shoot himself in the foot every time he gets a lead in Newt Gingrich.

    I left Ron Paul out because he leads me to my second brief response and teaser for a new article. Ron Paul is, by far, the most consistent conservative in the race who has not sold out to special interests or corporate power. However, one of the major roadblocks to people supporting Ron Paul is not Ron Paul himself; it is his supporters. Ron Paul is a smart man. His supporters are crazy! He has no control over this, but the reality is that people judge you by the company you keep and the company you attract.

    When you put political stances aside, the company Romney keeps and attracts is the reason why I have a hard time jumping on the Romney cart (it is not a bandwagon) because so many Romney supporters in DC, Maryland, and Virginia are anti-Sarah Palin and don’t mind making that fact known to me. As a person with a strong feminist streak who got back into politics solely because of Governor Palin, I don’t have a penchant for self-flagellation and I have zero interest in partying with Romney’s supporters regardless of whether they are ultimately successful or not.

    For the record, this is what I have to say about Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. LOL! That these two people can put the Romney campaign in peril speaks volumes about Romney’s electability, something he touts as his strength.

    I close out with a teaser to a third article. Let us assume that Romney wins the nomination or anyone else for that matter. The only thing that can *possibly* (not determinative because campaigns have exhausted me) get me out of the house is a female Vice-Presidential candidate. Gov. Sarah Palin, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, any random client of mine (because they are all female!)… If Obama drops Biden for my girl Hillary (won’t happen), I would give such a ticket a fair shake it deserves.

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