When John McCain secured the Republican nomination in 2008, he got his wish. And with the nomination under his belt, he ran a campaign that was careful to do everything but tell the truth about Barack Obama or highlight the stark differences between liberalism and conservatism. And when others, including Gov. Sarah Palin, stepped up to do what McCain refused to do, they were quickly muzzled by the self-proclaimed non-conformist who turned out to be the biggest conformist of all.
Enter 2012 and Gov. Mitt Romney. While many conservatives, including me, thought Romney would be just another McCain, we are finding he might not be the conformist we expected. And unlike his predecessor, he doesn’t appear to be satisfied with simply being the Republican nominee; he is actually pursing the presidency with vigor.
His debate positions against governmental regulation, hyper-taxation, and the need to stand by our allies (read: Israel) have been sharpened. And now he speaks to college students about the danger of being lured into accepting “free stuff” from the government via a desperate Obama; he tells Americans who can’t find a job that he will get government out of the way so individual citizens can shine once again; and he communicates with a clarity not seen since the Great Communicator reminded us we have a rendezvous with destiny.
Moreover, he’s taking it to Obama. We saw this over the weekend when Obama announced his campaign kickoff to a meager and sluggish crowd in Ohio; all the while, Romney’s campaign bus was parked outside the venue. It was just sitting there to send the not-so-subtle reminder that it’s game on.
On top of this, the Romney campaign placed an open letter in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, intended to give Obama something he could read prior to announcing the start of his campaign. The opening line of the letter was priceless: “Dear Mr. President, Welcome to Ohio. I have a simple question for you: Where are the jobs?”
The bottom line: Gov. Romney looks like he wants to be president. He talks like he wants to be president. And most importantly, he fights like he wants to be president. Unlike McCain, simply being nominated is not going to satisfy him.
No wonder the latest Battleground poll has him leading among independents by 10 points over Obama.