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Mitt Romney's Introduction To America - The CEO Allows Himself To Be Upstaged, By Design

Mitt Romney didn't hit a home run, but he didn't have to. What he did need to do was to introduce himself to the American people who have likely heard very little from him other than at the primary debates. He created a luxury for himself at last night's acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for President. He crafted a week of speakers that stuck to several tightly coordinated themes (as I have written all week, here and here), culminating in the final night of the convention that was a true celebration. By the time he took the stage, it was unnecessary for him to steal the show. All he had to do was to put a bow on the evening and prepare for victory in November.

After months of waiting for the perfect moment to reveal his strategy, it has now become clear that Romney will run his campaign in exactly the same manner as he ran multiple other companies; as CEO. He positioned himself last night as a problem solver and a doer, one who as boss will put the right people in the right places in his organization to get the job done. In the process, he presented a real, human side that had rarely been glimpsed by the voting public.

He was tough when he needed to be. He gave a firm signal to Israel and Iran that we will no longer withhold support for our allies and apologize to our enemies. The line, "Under my presidency our friends will see more loyalty and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone" should be repeated as often in the rest of this campaign as "We Built It".

He was direct when the scripting called for it, by presenting a five point plan to create 12 million jobs. I was particularly gratified by his ultra aggressive announcement that he will open up our vast energy reserves, setting a goal of being completely energy independent within 8 years. He also made a very strong case for school choice. The other three points of the plan were strong international trade, reform and simplification of the tax code and a dedication to cutting the deficit and balancing the budget.

But he also spent a significant amount of time working on areas that we previously haven't seen from him. He let us see a side of him, many facets in fact that until now have gone largely unknown. Romney definitely accomplished the goal of humanizing himself.

Romney, in the process of talking about his family - not just preaching family values as a dictate, but actually demonstrating them -  made a strong conservative case why independents should vote Republican. This is a  big point for me - it drives me nuts when we refuse to articulate why conservative values make more sense. Romney reached out to independents in many ways, in a manner that was welcoming and loving. He avoided pedantry at all costs. He reached out to women voters, not by pleading with them, or placating them, but by demonstrating his love for his wife and family, and demonstrating how Bain Capital supported women business owners. He did the same for Hispanic and African American voters. This might have been the most effective part of his remarks. Avoiding the potentially phony gesture of a figurative welcoming hand shake, he instead demonstrated how he's actually lived those values.

Romney was definitely upstaged by Rubio, and Ryan for that matter, no question about it. But you know what? That’s ok. His whole theme this week has been that he’s a CEO who puts the right people in the right places to solve problems. The very speaker lineup was another reinforcement of this theme, and I thought it played beautifully. He deferred to the people he hired to make the case and solve the problem, which is a hallmark of leadership.

I have never been a Mitt supporter, and I still think he’s a big government corporatist. But for the first time last night, I was convinced by his message. He sold me on the problem solver argument, and he demonstrated that he sees the deficit and debt as problems to be solved. I am crossing my fingers for his administration … but I think he’s going to accomplish the biggest goal – removing Obama.

Finally, a note about the finale. I was so touched when the Ryan and Romney families were all together on the stage during the balloon drop. Watching the kids have balloon fights and run around acting like children was a very powerful, unscripted scene. Here is one of the 500 pictures I took that shows the happy mayhem that ensued:

Romney, Ryan, Children and Balloons

In the end, in the manner of a true leader, Romney lived by the quote by Harry Truman, which sat in a frame on Ronald Reagan's desk: "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

Omar Fundora

We don't need a CEO running the country. Running a country is not about maximizing profits. Running a country is about doing things that improve the Common Good. Romney's Plan is about increasing inequality in the country by eroding the economic safety net that has prevented so many Americans from ending on the streets thanks to the gangsterism and corruption in the financial sector that was allowed by Republican philosophy of government: less regulation, smaller government and trickle down economics that has allowed 400 families control 46 percent of the money in the country. In effect a centralization of wealth and power with similar effect to what happens when countries are run by centralized governments. A de facto dictatorship of the rich...we need re-distribution of wealth, not more inequality...we need 4 more years!!

West Coast Patriot

Romney does not have the ability to defeat Obama. Until all of you come to that realization and start looking for someone who can, we will have Obama for another four years. He will not get the disenfranchised Democrat vote, I live in a liberal state, and I talk with Democrats everyday. They all tell me that they would have considered voting for Ron Paul (in fact several wrote his name in on their Democrat Primary ballots), but they all, ALL say that Romney makes them nervous, and now that they did the power grab that they did, all Democrats I know are going to hold their nose for Obama, unless Gary Johnson gets a rise in the polls.
He will not get the Paul supporter votes, they would rather die than vote for a man that treated them with such disdain. The youth vote? Forget it, the GOP showed them! They showed them they are not wanted. Independents? They were owned by Ron Paul (figure of speech), and a few will hold their nose for Romney, but not enough. I see Tea Party voters moving away from Romney because of the power grab and that spells defeat! Ron Paul would have gotten votes from all those voting blocks, but he has been pushed out by force and federal crimes committed by the Romney campaign. The only one left that even Democrats would look at, is Gary Johnson. You want Obama out? Gary Johnson is the guy.

Nina Maan

thats a nice Reagan quote

West Coast Patriot

Hazel, Did you even read my post, or did you just skim it? I am just pointing out the obvious, and I am sick and tired of people that just do not get it, telling ME that a vote for anyone but Romney is a vote for Obama. Get a life. Do some research. Start here:
If you can vote for Romney after watching that news report, then you are not Tea! Tea Party voters want limited government, not dictatorships. That my friend is a dictator style rule change, that will strip the voters from across the nation the ability to have ANY say in who becomes delegates in ALL future elections. The delegates will be hand picked by the establishment. That is everything that true Tea Party voters are against. My God, I cannot believe that people cannot see this. We DO have a chance at getting a candidate in office that respects the rule of law, believes in limited government, believes that people should Live Free instead of being under the thumb of government. The Libertarian Party is the answer, IF people would stop listening to the Lame Stream Media (including Fox News), who have reporters that answer to the establishment. Libertarianism IS the Conservative answer. The President that has been deemed the best President in this last century said it best:
"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is." - Ronald Reagan

Hazel Carter

If the voters who don't want to vote for Obama don't vote for Romney, or if they stay away from the polls, Obama will win. Don't let this happen! I don't care who you were for before, but Romney and Obama are the only ones left in the race for Prez. Get over it! Vote for Romney and save us from another four years of Obummer!

Christiana Mayer

You managed to capture my feelings that I couldn't put into words. Thanks Jeff.

flatspots479's picture
Tim Lucas

I think all the speakers hit it out of the park. I watched all three nights. I think Clint Eastwood did a great job. I liked it. Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? Your opinion will never change mine. I think Romney was great. I think we have a chance. The change Obama offers is more of the same. No hope there. Obama isn't the solution. He is the problem. This is our country and we fire employee's that do not perform. Go ahead, make my day.

Hazel Carter

Thank heavens all the other speakers hit it out of the park. I love Clint Eastwood, but felt his bit kinda proved he should stick to scripted movie dialogue. I thought he did nothing to advance Romney and only made himself look pathetic.

Nina Maan

Interesting perspective. I know some people were disappointed.