Oct 182007
Authors: Joseph Haynie

Mitt Romney, the presidential candidate, may need to get a hold of Mitt Romney, the venture capitalist, as his campaign is quickly taking on water and beginning to list.

As the sharks begin to circle the Romney camp, someone needs to stop the bleeding or face a proverbial feeding frenzy, especially since the other candidates have picked up on the blood in the water. With the primary elections only a few months away, it is clear that crunch time is now and something needs to be done.

Notwithstanding his missed opportunity at a JFK moment with the Mormon question, Romney’s string of lackluster performances in recent debates has done little to distance him from the other Republican frontrunners or gain a positive perception among voters.

The fact that the electorate perceives him negatively can be attributed to his relative level of obscurity among voters – he’s not a TV star, America’s mayor or a highly celebrated Senator and war hero.

However, it can also be attributed to the man himself.

Romney’s behavior recently called into question the kind of leader he is capable of being.

During the last debate, when discussing the prospect of attacking Iran, Romney stated his intention to consult lawyers prior to making any decision regarding the saber-rattling rogue state.

Consulting lawyers should not come before consulting one’s cabinet or even the good sense that God gave them. A leader is one that can think on the fly, especially when it pertains to the security of a nation and her allies and interests.

Romney’s problem is not one that money can solve. He’s trying not to be his father’s son.

From success in the private sector as a chief executive to the political arena as governor and presidential candidate, Romney’s life has eerily paralleled that of his father. And Romney, more than anything, would like for the comparisons to end right there.

Unfortunately for Romney, in light of recent events, it doesn’t seem as if that wish will be granted.

The old adage “once bitten, twice shy” applies indirectly to the “gun shy” governor. Having first handedly seen his father’s presidential campaign flounder and ultimately fall apart because of a slip of the tongue, Mitt, like a paranoid parent, has been proceeding with caution, almost to the point of suffocating his campaign.

Like his father, Romney, more than likely, will be a victim of himself.

In tiptoeing around certain issues, Romney has come across to the electorate as if he’s walking on eggshells, refusing to stomp on any feet along his way to the nomination.

Someone should tell him that sometimes it’s not smart to pitch around the big hitters. After all, even sluggers strike out.

Unfortunately for Romney, this “play-it-safe” strategy has found him on the mound with the bases loaded and his supporters asking themselves how many more issues must he delicately sidestep before his once solid lead in the poles is whittled down to insignificance.

Despite not possessing Thompson’s folksiness, Giuliani’s name recognition, or being as hawkish as McCain, Romney is the right man for the right wing.

On paper he is the most qualified of all the candidates, both Republican and Democrat.

He has successfully run a company and a state, possesses advanced degrees in law and business from Harvard and, with his involvement in the organization of the 2002 Winter Olympics, has shown that he has the leadership necessary to turnaround disasters.

If he gets his act together and resurrects the power and poise he exercised at the beginning of his journey, then you will see why he is the remedy for a reeling republic.

One can only hope this happens sooner than later.

Joseph Haynie is a senior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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