Mitt Romney will win this election, 284-254.
My columns and blog posts here and at The American Spectator show a steadily improving Mitt Romney, growing into the persona of a president.
But Romney the candidate still had a ways to go. That’s why I damned his convention acceptance speech with faint praise. And I criticized his “messaging” too — just hours before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in Africa. But Romney then stepped up his game, and I noticed.
And here I defended his criticism of the Obamites’ early statements apologizing for the video.
Let there be no mistake: Gov. Romney is by all believable accounts a man of great personal decency and generosity, and there can be no doubt about his competence as an administrator and organizational leader. Mere money changers might get rich pushing financial paper, but Romney’s history is different: He put both money andexpertise into real goods and services, acting not just as a bettor on somebody else’s skills but instead as an abettor of other people’s dreams, using his own management skills as a force multiplier for sales, profits, and, yes, new jobs. His Bain Capital company did not just trade financial capital; it invested human capital in a way that allowed other human capital to flourish in abundance.
I also noted Romney’s great personal charitableness. And, just when the polls and momentum were the worst for Romney, two days before the first debate, I wrote that he still could turn it around. The next day, the day before the debate, I let a Volleyball Mom make the case for Romney. (Of course, Romney won the debate.) A week after that, Volleyball Dad channeled Tug McGraw to say that fans of Romney “gotta believe!”
We now look at Mitt Romney, and we see a man who understands the enterprising nature of American people who value just such freedom to pursue their own, self-chosen goals. We see a winning candidate who aspires to unleash the energy of the entrepreneur, and who inspires the great capabilities and patriotism of the most accomplished Olympians. We see a leader who has known tremendous success and wants to share it — to use his knowledge of how success is gained in ways that enable us to find that success for ourselves, by emulation but not by regimentation. And we see a soon-to-be president who will not — nay, never — be intent on “transforming” us into a nation of his own fevered imagination, but who will instead be determined to create the conditions where we can improve the America we already love, through our own choices, to fulfill our own visions.
I also thought Romney effectively gained ground in the second debate. (But I again criticized him for leaving some issues unmentioned, as I had done a few days earlier as well.) And in part at least in the third debate, too, largely due to his better closing argument.
Here’s how I concluded that last linked column, which is about as good a place to end this blog post as I can find:
This was a candidate not just “hitting his stride,” but rather one elevating his own game and elevating the entire campaign’s sense of what American aspirations should be. Gov. Romney suddenly has the look and feel both of a winner and, more importantly, of a true leader, worthy of the nation he would serve. Turn on the lights; the good work is just beginning.