Tonight all eyes will be on Gov. Mitt Romney. Ok, perhaps not all eyes… I read rumors and rants from people who say something along the lines of “I just can’t stand the sight of him” — a reaction many politicians elicit regardless of affiliation. Truthfully, that reaction bothers me a bit. How can we know who someone is, what they believe, what they stand for, if we only listen to critical analysis via partisan filters?
But lest we digress…
Just as then Sen. Barack Obama did 4 years ago, tonight Mitt Romney will attempt to “define” himself to the American people. As the incumbent, Pres. Obama is already “defined” in regard to what kind of president he would be.
And so sometime shortly after 10 p.m. EST, the former Governor of Massachusetts will share with the viewing public who he is and how he intends to govern.
Friends, this post is not about Mitt Romney. It’s not about Barack Obama. It’s not an endorsement nor favoring of either candidate; in fact, next week at the Democrats’ convention at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, we could reprint much of this post’s same points, simply by changing the order of the names. Today’s main point, no less, speaks directly to the attempt by the candidates to “define” themselves… and the game that is played to obstruct the truthfulness of the process…
“Oh, the games people play now
Every night and every day now
Never meaning what they say now
Never saying what they mean…”
Note the impurity of the American political process, acknowledged by Democrat strategist, Joe Trippi, yesterday morn, saying, “We’re fighting over the definition of Mitt Romney right now.” The fight?
Best this current events observer can discern — noting descriptions actually articulated by Romney and his campaign — Mitt Romney will attempt to “define” himself Thursday night as the following:
- A Cub Scout
- Family man
- A husband of “unwavering care and devotion”
- “Not a career politician”
- Comprehender of the private sector
- An economic expert
- “Outstanding public servant”
- Salvager of the Olympic games
- Friend of small & new business
- “A superb manager”
- “An exceptional man with unique qualifications to lead our country through perilous times”
Simultaneously, best this current events observer can discern — noting descriptions actually articulated by Obama and his campaign — Obama will attempt to “define” Romney as the following:
- A candidate who has a “lack of willingness to take responsibility for what this job entails”
- “Not ready for primetime”
- A person having a “penchant for secrecy”
- Possessing a business record that is “not a qualification for president”
- An “extreme candidate” (… did I say ‘extreme’ yet?)
In other words, Romney will attempt to “define” himself in the best possible light; Obama will attempt to “define” Romney in the worst possible light. Next week the roles will be reversed, and Obama will remind us of his “definition” as the family man, while Romney’s camp will find some description undoubtedly synonymous with “extreme.”
So here’s the zillion dollar question: what is true? … what is accurate? … and wiser yet… does it matter?
“… Talkin’ ‘bout you and me
And the games people play…”