The Iowa caucuses are over, and Mitt Romney has finished first.
In my estimation this is a good thing, even though I admire Rick Santorum who was able to surge into an almost tie after having been ignored for much of the primary.
You see, while I am very sympathetic to many of the social issues Senator Santorum has highlighted in his campaign—for instance, I am unapologetically pro-life and am glad he has championed that cause—the battle lines in the general election will be drawn around the economy.
On that front, I am more impressed by a Harvard MBA with executive experience than a senator’s heartfelt social convictions. I suspect the out of work, the underemployed, and the underwater will also care the most about their money when voting in November.
Here it seems undeniable that Mitt Romney is more unassailable than Rick Santorum.
Unlike almost every other contender for the Republican nomination, Romney is a former governor. This gives him a distinct advantage over the senator from Pennsylvania (or the congressman from Texas who placed third in Iowa), as it means he’s developed a skill set in management that better coincides with the job description for commander-in-chief.
Unlike a legislator, a governor must set his state’s spending priorities. A good governor pushes a fiscal agenda through his state’s congress, and--in contrast to President Barack Obama who has often relegated the task of defining a vision for America’s fiscal future to others--Romney has shown he can act like the CEO he once was when it comes to the politics of economics. After all, in a notoriously liberal state, Romney was able to forward conservative ideas to stimulate business. I see that as an impressive feat of leadership.
In fact, I found it especially telling to hear Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee, derisively say on January 4 in response to the Iowa caucus results that the only “conviction [Romney] has is to boost corporate America.”
I answer emphatically, “Exactly.”
It seems to me, while some Republicans (however nobly) focus on issues that are not necessarily in play during this election--and the Democrats continue to engage in class warfare that paralyzes the economy--Romney could follow through on that laser sharp corporate conviction he’s accused of having, and we could capably contend with the most pressing business at hand: getting Americans back to work, my bottom line.