I was raised to be modest, to say thank you, to let ladies go first, to hold the door, and not to brag.
And then I grew up and moved to Washington and found out that if you hold the door too long, everyone will walk through it except you.
A certain level of immodesty is necessary to propel a career in a cutthroat political town that wants to know who’s up and who’s down, what’s the latest thing, and who got there first.
Not just Washington or journalism, of course. Many other towns and professions.
I’m glad I was raised to be modest, though, because it’s certainly easier to add a few layers of boastfulness than to rein in an ego in love with itself.
Mitt Romney is one of those people you won’t find sitting on a couch at the family Thanksgiving gathering discussing the glories of Mitt Romney. But he’ll have to tell the American people about it, because otherwise, Obama will do it for him.
I’ve written that Romney should absorb the Obama attacks on Bain Capital and respond with not just a defense of his years at Bain, but a celebration of them.
A great piece on Politico today asserts that Romney needs to celebrate much more about himself:
The presumptive GOP nominee is known for his abilities as a salesman. But Romney has made a calculation against selling three major elements of his background to voters. To some degree, the Republican’s campaign has walled off three critical aspects of what makes Mitt Mitt — his Mormon faith and good deeds, details of his experience running Bain Capital and his signature achievement as Massachusetts governor . . .
And he does not talk about what people close to him describe as a lengthy list of charitable works, neighborly help and major donations, in part out of personal discomfort with focusing on his good deeds and, in some measure, several Romney backers say, because it will focus attention on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religion that’s rapidly growing but about which misperceptions remain.
The vote for president is one of the most personal decisions a person makes. I’m sure you remember the choice you made in every presidential election in which you voted. It’s a decision about who will be your leader. You’re choosing a daddy or – probably sometime soon – a mommy.
And, like a parent, whether you love them or hate them, you can’t escape them. The leader of your country is your leader too.
Romney can’t just make this campaign a referendum on Obama, as he is trying to do. He needs to provide an alternative.
The Romney campaign so far has careful scribbled all over it. He’s playing not to lose, which as anyone who ever watched a basketball game knows, is exactly way to lose.
Mitt, Americans will love you, even if you pull up a leg of your slacks and show us a wart. Hell, Clinton dropped his slacks and people still loved him. The disconcerting elements of Obama’s biography didn’t interfere with the Obama 2008 campaign’s success at presenting a hagiography to the public.
Mitt is basically a good guy, and Americans will sense that. He’s not an easy target to vilify. Unless he’s too modest.