The Choice Ahead in November
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are very different people; perhaps as different as two candidates for the Presidency have ever been. They do share one similar trait; a desire for personal privacy.
Romney's reticence derives from a self-deprecating, reserved form of shyness.
President Obama flaunts a sinister, in-your-face egotism; the self-gratifying arrogance of a narcissist that would issue an Executive Order sealing all of his personal records within 24 hours of taking office.
Romney is a decent, honorable, and proper man. His reticence and modesty are the products of old school upbringing. John Hinderaker of PowerLine put it this way in a posting titled Romney Impresses:
[A]s a person, Romney is hugely authentic. His persona is no mystery: he is a Dad. We have all known men like Mitt Romney. We may think they are square and out of date; we may roll our eyes if they are occasionally goofy. But when times are tough, in moments of crisis, everyone knows where to turn: we look to leaders of character, competence and decency, like Mitt Romney.
An example (see here and here): In 1996 the teenage daughter of a friend of Romney went missing; ran off to New York. The friend, a fellow executive from Bain Capital, asked Romney what he should do. Romney said they should go and find her.
Romney gathered the entire staff of the Boston office of Bain and flew them to New York. He hired a private detective, enlisted help from the law firm and the accounting firm Bain used in New York, and printed lots of flyers to be distributed by a drug store chain that was a Bain client. Romney and the other business people, decked out in suits, ties, and briefcases, searched the neighborhoods where the girl might have gone, handing out flyers and asking for help.
After a few days, the search team received a telephone call from someone seeking a reward. The caller got spooked and hung up, but not before the police traced the call leading to raiding a home in New Jersey where the girl was found alive but in bad shape from drugs.
Let us consider this anecdote in terms of Response, Resources, and Results; the three Rs of crisis management.
- Romney's response was bold, imaginative, innovative, and immediate; what one would ask of a President receiving the proverbial 3AM phone call.
- Romney provided the resources, the management, and the oversight needed for the hunt. This step is a tripping point for many wannabee executives, but strong management is a particular strength of Romney.
- Finally, results. The damsel in distress was found. Success. Romney seems predisposed to success; others have failure follow them around like the dark cloud of my old buddy Joe Btfsplk. But success or failure are not pre-ordained or dependent upon luck. Romney earned his luck with a strong response and appropriate resources.
Obama has a disconcerting catch-me-if-you-can coldness. Not cool, cold! That's the Chicago Way
We knew of Obama's secrecy during the 2008 campaign but we were caught up in his charm, his big smile, and his teleprompted oratory. His party and his media let him skate, but worse, we Republicans did not challenge his credentials or his associates effectively enough.
Now we are four years older and wiser. The creepy secrecy surrounding Obama remains, more impenetrable as ever, because of his using his presidential powers to seal his records, but we have gone to school on his performance. We now know that President Obama lacks the skills of governance and, sadly, speaks and acts in bad faith.
What we still do not know is why Obama is so adamant about maintaining a secret past. What bad things has he got to hide? As George Carlin used to say, "They must be really bad!"
What little of Obama's past we did know before the 2008 election came from his memoir, Dreams from My Father. Well written, some say inspiring, but extremely difficult to fact check. Since the election, several other books have come out and we now know that, politely, Dreams is not always accurate.
Garry Wills, in his New York Times review of The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, says, "[David] Remnick ... has many important additions and corrections to make to our reading of 'Dreams From My Father.'" A couple of other books that challenge the accuracy of Dreams are A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother by Janny Scott and Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America's First Postmodern President by Jack Cashill.
Examining Obama's past is like pinning the tail on the donkey while blindfolded and after being spun too much. And boy, do we ever get spun!
There is virtually no paper trail; records, certificates, writings, passports, licenses, transcripts; for Obama's formative years including his attendance at Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard. These artifacts should be the underpinnings for research that provide an historian with citations to support his findings.
In the absence of such citations, a vacuum exists that is being filled with speculation; some wild, some credible. Obama's people jump on any such speculation, painting it with the brush of birtherism. But remember, just because you are a dyslexic paranoid doesn't mean you aren't following something real.
The single most significant artifact is the birth certificate, in Hawaii it is called the Long Form Birth Certificate (LFBC). Following the 2010 midterm elections, Obama was under a lot of political pressure, bipartisan pressure from the likes of Governor Neil Abercrombie (D HI) and would-be Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, to release his LFBC. Obama seemingly caved and posted his LFBC on line in PDF (Portable Document Format) format. He did not allow a physical examination of the actual paper record.
Perhaps the least significant artifact is Obama's Selective Service Registration Card (SSRC). It gains in importance because it is available; investigators, specifically Debbie Schlussel and her friends, were able to obtain a copy using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Ms. Schlussel examined the document and concluded, with a credible demonstration, that it was a forgery.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Cold Case Posse has investigated Obama's LFBC and Obama's SSRC and declared them to be probable forgeries.
Is Obama's LFBC in fact a forgery? Sheriff Joe has supplied a long esoteric proof based on an analysis of the PDF of the LFBC made available by Obama in April, 2011. It is highly technical, and while I am comfortable with things technical, reading this one makes my hair hurt. There is simpler and compelling demonstration of the probable forgery outlined by Nick Chase in the American Thinker (AT).
Is Obama's SSRC in fact fallacious? Sheriff Joe examined Ms. Schlussel's proof, considers it valid, and supports her assertion that the SSRC is a fake.
The claims that both documents have been falsified are in part based on the inept manner in which they appear to have been altered. Ineptness is a common occurrence in the Obama administration. Joe Btfsplk for Czar of Ineptitude?
We cannot consider either the LFBC or the SSRC to be proven forgeries. At this point, they are alleged forgeries. In order to settle the matter, each document would need to be adjudicated in a proper manner with opposing evidence submitted. This will probably never happen.
The Choice Ahead
I watched the movie Iron Lady the other night and the consummate Conservative Margaret Thatcher said (I paraphrase) politicians used to do things and nowadays they just want to be somebody.
You have a choice in November.
Mr. Romney will do things; he will reinvigorate the American economy, he will restore American exceptionalism, and he will rebuild the American image around the world.
Mr. Obama, the unmitigated narcissist, needs to be somebody. We don't know who he needs to be because he has hidden himself behind a wall of secrecy. We do know that once reelected, he can be more "flexible." Are you willing to chance your future, your children's future, and your grandchildren's future on the hidden flexibility of Obama's second term?
Mike Johnson is a concerned citizen, a small government conservative, and a live-free-or-die resident of New Hampshire. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.