Saturday, February 1, 2014

whatever side you're on, see another side

Friday night I watched the Mitt Romney documentary on Netflix. It is an intimate, realistic look at the rigors of running for president and the real Mitt Romney. The tag line says it all: "Whatever side you're on, see another side." Everyone--regardless of your political preference--should watch this documentary to gain a better understanding of what it takes to run for president.

I've studied politics in grad school, particularly the complex relationship between the press and the presidency. So much of an election, and then being the president, is an exercise in the performance art. To be a successful president, you have to be friends with the press. Often they control your message more than you. The 24/7 news cycle only complicates things.

Running for president is anything but glamorous. You see this firsthand in the documentary. It's a lot of hotels, fast food, and hours sitting on a bus or plane. You're never home and your time is never your own. Every person in your family is affected by the rigors of the process. No one is untouched. Josh Romney articulated the experience well when he said this in the documentary:

“They talk and they say, why can’t we get someone good to run for president? And this is why. This is why you don’t get good people running for president. What better guy is there than my dad? Is he perfect? I mean, absolutely not. He’s made mistakes. He’s done all sorts of things wrong. But for goodness sakes, here’s a brilliant guy whose experience is turning things around, which is what we need in this country. This is the guy for the moment. And we’re in this, and you just get beat up constantly. ‘Oh Mitt Romney’s a flip-flopper. He’s this. He’s that.’ You just kinda go, man, is this worth it? This is awful.”
- Josh Romney

I do not think President Obama is a bad person or horrible president. However, I do believe Mitt Romney is the better man and would have been a greater, more effective president. Unfortunately, the better candidate doesn't always win.

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