Mitt Romney has presented himself as a very viable candidate during these recent Republican primaries, gradually gaining more steam as the race has progressed. An extremely capable businessman, Romney has gained the approval of many Americans with his obvious understanding of how to handle monetary issues. This same monetary success, however, has earned Romney much criticism, as has the more personal issue of his Mormon faith. These two aspects of Romney certainly raise many questions and possible obstacles – but they also make him into a candidate who stands apart from the crowd, a candidate that America may just be willing to elect in November.
Without a doubt, his business acumen has paid off, earning him economic prosperity. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with it, such success could strain his ability to understand and relate to the common working American man. America is not entirely composed of wealthy, profitable businessmen. It is a land of the middle class worker who is not concerned with huge mergers and million-dollar profit margins but rather with food and basic needs.
A recent article in “The Economist” addressed the idea that Romney could essentially be America’s next CEO, creating the hypothetical situation of America essentially being run like an enormous business. While this view of the next administration may help alleviate some of our current economic woes, how would this style of presidency affect the way America is run? There is a growing concern that running a country as a business could stifle creativity and negatively affect workers. Romney, having co-founded and served as CEO of Bain Capital, understands what must necessarily happen when saving a company. Such measures include downsizing, which is practical but not something that many Americans would like to see take place. The strategies used to save a company are not exactly the same strategies that should be used to save a nation. Romney’s skill in leadership, however, does give many Americans confidence in his ability to pull off such a presidential style, and perhaps rightly so.
Another factor that differentiates Romney from the other Republican candidates is his Mormon faith. Certainly, some consider Mormonism a sect of Christianity, but many refute this assertion. As a person, Romney is very much a part of Mormonism. For example, in 1966 he went on a 30-month mission in France, a rite of passage for Mormon men. On this mission he faced much rejection and also matured greatly, having left as a 19-year-old freshman in college. Romney describes it as a humbling experience and claims it has shaped him into the person he is today. There is something to be admired in Romney’s strong loyalty to his faith, as well as in his extreme success as a businessman, though both may raise eyebrows at times.
Mitt Romney shows promise in many ways and stands out from among the other more conventional Republican nominees. He is not the typical conservative candidate, but he may be a risk that America is willing to take.