The new Reagan

Like a lukewarm bowl of porridge, most of the Republican presidential possibilities for 2012 leave us uninspired. Only one individual stands out from the crowd as a viable candidate with the leadership, political savvy and economic experience that this country needs right now. This person is the closest thing to Ronald Reagan that has been seen on the political landscape since…well, Ronald Reagan. In this writer’s opinion he is the only legitimate Republican candidate for the White House. This person is Mitt Romney.
The two men could not be from different backgrounds. Romney was raised in privileged surroundings in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, an affluent suburb of Detroit. His father, George W. Romney, was president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973.
Romney attended Stanford University and Brigham Young University as an undergraduate, then earned a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He became CEO of Bain & Company and co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm.
Romney became Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, and presided over one of the state’s most fiscally sound eras of recent memory. He signed into law the landmark Massachusetts health care reform legislation, providing near-universal health insurance access for the citizens of Massachusetts via subsidies and mandates. Romney successfully organized and steered the 2002 Winter Olympics as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. He was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 United States presidential election, winning several caucuses and primaries but ultimately losing to John McCain.
Since then he has published a book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, and has campaigned extensively for fellow republicans throughout the nation.
Ronald Reagan moved from Tampico, Illinois to Los Angeles, California, in 1937 to seek a career in the motion picture industry. He was quite successful, appearing in over fifty movie productions, and served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild. His career in politics began when he served as a spokesperson for General Electric, and really took off when he gave an electric speech in 1964 supporting Barry Goldwater’s presidential nomination. He won the California governorship in 1966, and again in 1970.
Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination, and the general election, in 1980, and served two terms in the White House. His sweeping supply-side economic policies led the country through one of the most fiscally prosperous decades of the 20th century. He advocated controlling the money supply to reduce inflation and spurred economic growth by reducing tax rates, government regulation of the economy, and certain types of government spending. He is generally regarded as one of the most successful U.S. Presidents of the 20th century, and consistently scores highly in public opinion polls.
There is little question that this country desperately needs some creative and outside-of-the-box economic thinking such as has been exhibited by Reagan and Romney. After eight years of George W. Bush’s “spend now, ask questions later” fiscal oversight, and two years of Barack Obama’s “change,” we are left with a financial mess that screams for new ideas. I believe that the only presidential candidate, from either party, who has shown over the past ten years that he is capable of this type of thinking is Mitt Romney.
The fact that the two men have exhibited the ability and the initiative to use creative economic policies to improve the fiscal health of their respective constituencies is only the tip of the political iceberg, however. The other area in which Romney very much reminds me of the Gipper is leadership. That’s L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P.
No, it’s not a new idea, just one that’s been severely neglected for the past decade. Who among the Republican contenders has shown even the dimmest idea of what constitutes true leadership? Sarah Palin? Please, let’s not go there. That’s another column. Mike Huckabee? While I wouldn’t dismiss the Huckster out-of-hand, he is an actor who just isn’t ready for the big stage. Newt Gingrich? Too much baggage. Haley Barbour? VERY intriguing, but still unknown to most of the country. Romney, on the other hand, has led with conviction everywhere and in every situation. I firmly believe he will do the same as president.
So how and why did Romney lose to John McCain for the Republican nomination in 2008? I think it was a case of familiarity. The country just wasn’t quite sure what to make of Mitt Romney three years ago. He was somewhat of an out-of-the-blue candidate at the time, and his vascillation on certain issues did him no favors. There was his religion, of which most Americans also did not know what to make. Hopefully we are past that now. We chose an African-american for the White House, why not a Mormon?
John McCain, on the other hand, was tried and true, a rock amongst the willows. America knew what he was, where he came from, aand what he would do. Unfortunately for him, he just didn’t have the star power of the Democratic nominee.
One last item of comparison between Reagan and Romney. While both men certainly had, and have, their faults, they both have always trumpeted the wonderful things that come with being an American. Romney, like Reagan, seems to be firmly convinced that we still live in the greatest nation on earth, a nation which is still capable of being a beacon on a hill, an example of how personal liberty, self-responsibility, and traditional values can set a people apart from the rest of the world.
And that’s why, barring a Clinton-esque “bimbo eruption” of some sort in the next two years, I will be supporting Mitt Romney for President of the United States in 2012.
Tim Williamson is a husband, father and writer always searching for new insights into the human condition. He has spent the past 20 years in various sectors of business, chiefly human resources and marketing. His interests include politics, history, religion and literature. He moved to the St George area from Cincinnati, Ohio, in July of 2009, and currently resides in Santa Clara with his wife, Julie, and their sons Jacob, 6, and Mark, 4.

Posted on September 27, 2010, 6:03 pm

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