I will be the first at admit that I don’t have much political savvy or knowledge. Even when I read about the issues I don’t look into every detail. It’s like I am on the outside looking at everything from a distance, while others are on the inside paying attention to all the minutia. And from where I was standing in 2008 and 2012, I have a few personal ideas of why the Republican party lost the Presidential election, or at least why they lost my vote. Of course this is a simplistic and personal outlook of what was going through my head during the elections.
I know more than a few republicans who were interested in my stand in 2008, that Obama would be my choice for president. At the time I had never taken an interest in politics before and relied on my husband’s judgment. But, 2008 was going to be a historic election. Everyone was passionate about it on both sides. So, I decided to do my own kind of research. I did like what Obama had to say, but I was also paying attention to John McCain.
John McCain, a respected, admired, true war hero, was running. He was certainly qualified to be President. He had the experience, background, leadership ability necessary for office. But, issues aside, I found myself concerned with his age and his health. I even expressed my concern to my Republican husband, who told me not to worry, he has good genes. McCain inherited longevity from his parents. Great. What about his health? He had cancer and it had reoccurred in the past. Again he tells me not to worry, he was given a thorough checkup and received a clean bill of health. Fine. And then, on September 15th, 2008, John McCain declared the economy was fine. That same day we suffered a huge financial crisis when the stock market plunged nearly sending us into a depression. That did not inspire confidence in me that he knew enough about the economy to handle the job as President. After all, how was he going to fix the economy when he had no clue it was about to crash? I read someplace that President Obama was warning Congress about this possibility two years earlier, asking them to take action, and his concerns were documented. So, considering the economy became an urgent issue, I felt President Obama was more in touch with what was going on.
Now, let’s assume, or argument’s sake, that someone could convince me that John McCain was in good health for his age and misspoke about the economy being strong just before the bottom fell out. How in the world can anyone overlook the fact that he chose Sarah Palin as a running mate? Granted, she looked great that first night, giving her prepared speech on national television. I’ll be the first to say I was excited about having a woman in the race, which hadn’t happened since Geraldine Ferraro ran with Mondale. However, in the ensuing days, Palin left a lot to be desired. Her lack of experience and knowledge was evident. She couldn’t answer simple questions and coined the term “gottcha moment” for all questions. She appeared incompetent and turned into a laughing stock, so much so, that her word for word quotes were being used on Saturday Night Live and none of her lines had to be changed. Tina Fey actually sounded better and made more sense to me using Sarah’s own words. So then I thought, why did John McCain pick someone for Vice President as ill prepared as Sarah Palin? This is his first major decision and he chose her? I asked myself what if his health fails for whatever reason, and she was put in charge of our country? No republican seemed concerned with that issue. I even asked my husband about it. His answer was nothing was going to happen to McCain so Palin is not an issue. Ok, well, it was and remained an issue for me. That is was sealed the deal for me. The republicans sank their own ship with Alaskan missile, Palin.
Now we get to the 2012 election. The economy could be a lot better, no question about that. What are Obama and Romney going to do about it? Romney never said what his plan was and I suppose now we will never know. But forget about that, that’s not why he lost. Everyone was willing to take him at his word that he had a plan. But, I wanted to hear it. If he mentioned his plan, I didn’t hear it. I did hear about a Medicare voucher plan which scared me and doing away with PBS to save money. That’s about it. But Romney’s biggest problem is that he could not relate to anyone except the richest people in this country. He kept insulting everyone. He called them victims and moochers. The 47% comment included the elderly on Medicare, disabled veterans, college students, people living below poverty level, people who are unemployed through no fault of their own, and he insulted his own father and my father. He insulted all the women in all the binders in all America. He made ridiculous remarks that showed he was out of touch with the middle class time and time again. Who tells college students to work 3 or 4 jobs to pay tuition when there are no jobs? Or tells graduates, who need a job, to ask their parents for $20,000 to start a business in a depressed economy? Who wants to make a friendly wager of $10,000? Who wants to cut Pell grants for thousands of students to pay for a millionaire’s tax cut? And if he can’t understand the middle class, who he thinks makes $200-250,000 a year, how is he going to reach the poorest of this country? He flip-flopped on the issues over and over again. He said it would take him 8-10 years to fix the economy and he agreed with a lot of the things President Obama was already doing…so what did we need Romney for?
Romney was a poor candidate, in my opinion. The truth is I could never connect with Romney. He didn’t inspire trust or confidence in me. I felt he was wishy washy. He underestimated many citizens of this country. People came out to vote in droves last Tuesday. They came out not just to vote for President Obama, but to vote against Mitt Romney. My daughter’s friend flew to North Carolina to vote for Obama because her vote in New York would have been wasted. I’ve heard it said that Obama scares republicans.Well guess what? Mitt Romney scared me. Maybe if 51% of us were rich, Romney would have had a better shot.
And that’s what I was thinking, in a nutshell. I tried to be respectful of the opinions of others as much as humanly possible and ended many a comment with “may the best man win.” America has spoken, and he has!
P.S. Here is a peeve I just have to get out. The other day I saw a map of the United States shaded in red and blue, representing the republican and democratic states. As we know, the RED predominates the map and the caption read something to the effect that Obama won even though so much of the country (in area) voted for Romney. Now I wanted to post under that map “TOO BAD DIRT DOESN’T VOTE, people do!”