Conservative political blogs and articles are full of comments about how Obama tricked the American people into voting for him again. While some of this is true, the Obama campaign masterfully picked apart Romney on multiple non-issues like the War on Women. Realistically though, this wouldn't have been possible if the Mitt Romney had been a better candidate.
While Mitt had the experience and the skillset to lead the country successfully, he wasn't the candidate America was looking for, and here are the reasons why:
- He is richer than God (or almost) – We can belittle class warfare all we want, the fact is that it's a populist position. People agree with Obama when he blames the rich even though it's doubtful he will follow through on any of those threats to tax the rich.
- His plans were murky and evasive – He was asked several times, pointedly, in the debates to lay out his economic plans and refused to. The strategy was understandable, but it made him appear dodgy.
- He was socially conservative (kind of). A Republican candidate has to be anti-abortion, but this would have been a good place to take some strategy lessons from Ron Paul. Let the States decide. Birth control, drugs, gay marriage, let these things be decided on a state by state basis. The federal government has no place in anyone's bedroom. His bias was illustrated very well in his interview on Monday Night Football November 5, 2012, the night before the election. When asked what the biggest problem in sports today was, he answered “performance enhancing drugs”
- He was economically liberal. This is really the opposite of what this country wants. The Tea Party's roots are in fiscal responsibility, and were very successful in the 2010 elections. Wikipedia lists over 150 Tea Party affiliated politicians and many of these are members of the House of Representatives. While there are kooks like Michele Bachman, there are also very serious statesmen like Justin Amash in this group. Romney's nomination by the GOP ignored the Tea Party movement as well as the libertarian movement supporting Ron Paul. While Romney's mysterious economic plan may have solved the budget issues, no one had enough detail to be sure. Obama was able to find some reliable sources that examined the plan and say that it was untenable. In fact, Romney stated in the debates that he wanted to INCREASE military funding when the military already takes up one of the largest pieces of our budgetary pie. Could Romney have pulled us off the fiscal cliff? It was anything but certain. Basically he was a Neocon like George W. Bush before him.
- Finally, he's Mormon. We live in a world where all religion is routinely scoffed at by many. In this environment the GOP thought to introduce a candidate who was not only very religious but belonged to one of the smallest religions in the world. Mormonism is NOT just another Christian denomination like Catholics or Episcopalians. It's close to Christianity, and it's based off of some of the same teachings, but also introduces another large body of work called the Book of Mormon that has some teachings very different from mainstream Christianity. There were voters this election season that certainly did not vote for Romney due to his religious beliefs.
In fact, it's a telling report on Obama's poor leadership that Mitt Romney took 48 percent of the vote and 206 electoral votes. As a person I believe he had the potential to be a better leader than many of the Presidential challengers in the past (Gore, Dole, Mondale, etc..) but he lacked too many fundamental qualities to sway that 2% of voters that would have put him in the White House.