It has been over a year since I took the time to write on this blog. Facebook and Twitter seem to get a quicker message out with less thought (and effort). I made a promise to myself several months ago to begin to write here again, so on a cold, rainy Friday evening in late October we will re-engage.
Perhaps it is appropriate that my first entry after a long absence is about presidential politics. Living in a battleground state has given Iowans a unique opportunity this year. Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan have both made several visits to the state. Surrogates the likes of Governors Bobby Jindal (LA), McDonnell (VA) and Walker (WI) have all visited, sometimes more than once. And just this week, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner visited Davenport, Iowa City (yes, the People’s Republic of Johnson County), and Cedar Rapids to support not only the congressional campaigns of John Archer and Ben Lange, but to endorse the Romney/Ryan ticket as well.
But the surrogates that I had the pleasure to meet with today were the most impressive and most powerful of any that I have seen to date.
Five women who had all worked with Mitt Romney, some at the Salt Lake Olympics and some during his tenure as Massachusetts governor came to Iowa to talk about the Mitt Romney that they knew.
These amazing and effective surrogates (and their titles during their tenure working with Mitt Romney) are:
Ellen Roy Herzfelder – Secretary of Environmental Affairs
Renee Fry – Secretary of Business & Technology
Cindy Gillespie – Counselor to the Governor
Beth Lindstrom – Secretary of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation
Donna Tillery – Executive Assistant to Mitt Romney at Salt Lake City Olympics
Each one told compelling personal and professional stories about the man to whom they all referred to as “Mitt”. One woman told about a father who had complications from heart surgery which caused her to leave her post for a short while and how Mitt Romney called every day and spoke to her for 30-40 minutes, just to make sure that she was okay. Another woman spoke of having been recruited by Mitt Romney to his state cabinet, but was concerned about how she would juggle her work responsibilities with her young family of three boys, but was assured by Mitt Romney that he would work with her to be able to help her meet her family obligations and while accomplishing her professional goals.
Each woman spoke with true conviction and sincere affection for Mitt Romney. What initially impressed me was that they all spoke about working “with” Mitt Romney, never “for” him. That said a lot to me.
It also was striking to me as I listened to each of these women (and there are two other groups of five women traveling in other states) that we never hear from anyone like this from Barack Obama’s past—whether it be women or men.
Never any co-workers, classmates, fellow church parishioners, or childhood friends come forward to speak on Mr. Obama’s behalf. That says a lot to me about these two men running for office. I feel safe in saying that if I were ever in a position that I would need to have people come forward on my behalf that I could find at least five from various times and circumstances in my life. Barack Obama has none.
I found this to be a very compelling argument for Mitt Romney. In the debate the other evening, Mr. Romney clumsily spoke of having ‘binders full of names of women” from which to choose. I knew what he meant. President Obama knew what he meant. I think any reasonable person would.
As I listened to these five women today, I did not think of any of them as pages from a binder—but women for whom Mitt Romney had come to know, to have confidence in to achieve their common goals and worked with him, never for him.
One of the members of our group in attendance today recommended that these women do TV ads for Mitt Romney. I heartily agree.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have a little over two weeks as I write these to close the deal with the American people. Mitt, if you are reading, these, you have five great salespeople here. Send them in to get it done!