Dear Commons Community,
On the day that Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary, Peggy Noonan had advice for Mitt Romney in her Wall Street Journal column. Having basically secured the Republican nomination, she calls on Romney to get serious and act like a presidential candidate and less like a goofball – I would add like most of the other Republican candidates. To quote:
“Suit up and get serious. Now that everyone knows you’ll be the nominee, get off the goofball express. Cheesy grits, jeans, singing, being compulsively pleasant, calling your opponents lightweights—enough.
Use the next few months to get back to basics. Why do you want to be president again? Is the answer, “Because I’m a great fellow and it’s the top job”? Dig down deep for a better reason!
Here’s something Americans intuit about motivations in presidential politics. When a candidate is on a mission to rescue the country, they can tell. When it’s about the nation and not him, they can tell. When he has a general philosophy of government and politics, they will listen, and give a fair hearing.
But when a candidate says, not blatantly but between the lines, “I want to be president because I’m an extraordinary and superior human and want you to see me that way too,” well, that sort of subliminally gives a lot of people the creeps. They will see you as ego-driven, not purpose-driven. They may elect you anyway, but this year especially they won’t. “
Right on Peggy!