Clear Eyes, Full Heart - My Change of Heart on Mitt Romney
The day after the first Romney/Obama debate, my friend Moira sent me a picture of a poster above a door Mitt Romney was walking through just before the debate. The poster read, "Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can't Lose!" -- the words from the well-known Friday Night Lights high school football story. It reminded us both of a post she wrote for Conservatives4Palin late last September, just before Sarah Palin announced that she had decided not to run for president. The post was about Friday Night Lights and having a good attitude going into what we thought was going to be a tough fight to garner her the Republican nomination.
Many of us still wish Sarah Palin were carrying the ball in this championship game for the presidency of the United States. But that's Mitt Romney's role. Initially, when Governor Palin said she was going sit out the game, I didn't want to play anymore. I wanted to slam my helmet to the ground and walk out of the locker room and get as far away from the field as I could. It took a little while before I realized how foolish that attitude was. I needed to do what was best for the team, even if I felt angry and hurt having to back up anyone other than Sarah Palin...and especially having to play behind Mitt Romney. I did not want to abandon my team, but I didn't have a clear mind or full heart about it.
I started to budge a little in my attitude when I started to get to know our new teammate's wife, Ann. I didn't want to like her because I did not like her husband, but I couldn't help myself. She seemed so genuine and real, and I found her funny, engaging, and playful. I had to admit, too, that she was beautiful. There was something about her that always made me giddy inside -- kind of like how Drew Barrymore makes me feel when I watch her on the screen, effortlessly connecting with her audience with humor and touching sincerity, or when she is charming her interview hosts with her sense of humor, beauty, and down-to-earth realness. My feelings about Ann Romney very much took me off guard, because it is rare that I ever light up inside about people I don't know personally -- especially those I don't want to like.
Okay, so I was on board with Ann Romney, but I wasn't on board with her husband. Somewhere deep down, Ann was going to be the "in" for my eventual coming around to Mitt. I figured that if a woman like Ann Romney could capture my heart, maybe I could find something good about the man who captured hers.
I watched Ann give her speech at the Republican convention. I was my usual giddy self as she charmed me once again and as I watched her charm America, lighting up as she talking about her husband.
On the following Thursday, I watched Mitt Romney deliver his convention/acceptance speech, looking for anything I could find likeable about him. I did it for Ann. By the end of the speech, I was beginning to be able to picture him as president of the United States. I even felt myself almost starting to maybe like him a little, but the idea in my head that Sarah Palin should have been standing up there giving that acceptance speech still gnawed at me. For whatever reason, she chose not to run and was not standing before the delegates, accepting their nomination for president. I still blamed Mitt and his campaign.
The days and weeks following the convention, I started to see Mitt Romney in a different light. For anyone who watches Glenn Beck, I saw a show of his where he brought a panel of people on to talk about the "real" Mitt Romney -- the Mitt Romney who has done so many good works for so many people. Mitt doesn't like to talk about these things -- a modest man never does. Watch Glenn Beck's show revealing the real person behind the mainstream media's negative depiction. No one will feel the same about Mitt Romney after seeing him through the eyes of the recipients of his good deeds.
My walls were coming down. I started to see Mitt Romney as a good-hearted and devoted Christian family man. That was something very important to me. I now liked Mitt Romney as a person, but I wasn't yet totally convinced about him as either candidate or president. Then came the debate.
It wasn't until the debate that I saw Mitt Romney as a real leader and someone uniquely prepared to take on the problems America is facing and will face in the future. I also saw him as possibly the best person at this time to take the helm of America's wayward ship. I had prayed so often and so fervently to God to give us Sarah Palin. But I put a stipulation in my prayers to give God room to answer them; if it was not Sarah Palin's time to be president, I asked God to give America someone whose time it was. Someone who could lead America spiritually and economically out of the void and darkness the Obama administration had led America into for the last four years. Sometimes God answers our prayers in ways we never expect and often don't immediately understand. Perhaps this is one of those times. Perhaps Mitt was the answer to those prayers.
I am still one of Sarah Palin's greatest supporters. I don't trust many people as much as I trust her. One day it will be her time to be president. When that day approaches, I will proudly fight with every part of my being to make sure that it comes to pass. But right now, I am a proud supporter of and believer in Mitt Romney. He has won me over, and that ain't easy, since I am very skeptical of politicians these days. I am sorry it took me so long, but I am here, and I plan on working and praying as hard as I can until November 6 to make sure we have a new president November 7. And of course, let me not forget to mention that we will have the greatest first lady America has ever seen.
Now, I have clear eyes and a full heart. We cannot lose.