This morning on the radio, I heard a discussion of what a challenge Obama has in his re-election effort getting young people to back him they way they did in 2008.
Those young people, the argument went, wanted “hope” and “change,” and didn’t get enough of it.
I can see how that might have the effect of dampening enthusiasm, perhaps even of suppressing turnout.
What I don’t see it doing is translating to support for Romney. Unless these young folks really delude themselves, or unless the change they want is of a rightward bent — in which case, they’re still deluding themselves.
And most of us know this. It’s why the GOP base went running to everyone else they could think of before settling on Romney — they knew he wasn’t a True Believer on the kind of change THEY wanted.
And I knew it, which was why I saw him as the most palatable candidate in the field — the real conservative. Romney is a manager. He wants to manage the nation to prosperity. And maybe he can do that. But he’s not a revolutionary, or a counter-revolutionary. He’s a manager.
Now you might throw at me various statements that he’s made or positions he’s taken that contradict that, to which I’ll say, Right. And he’s also the father of Obamacare, but you don’t see him acting like it, do you? As you may have noted, his positioning is somewhat… flexible… based on what he thinks is needed to get the job done at a given time.
I backed Romney — reluctantly — because I didn’t like the kind of “change” that the GOP field was offering this time around. Repealing Obamacare. Endangering the full faith and credit of the United States by absolutely insisting that budget cuts not be accompanied by any kind of tax increases. I didn’t want any of that stuff.
When McCain and Obama ran four years ago, there were changes I looked forward to with each. I believed McCain would manage the War on Terror much better than Bush had. I knew he had the courage to take on things like comprehensive immigration reform. With Obama, while being reasonably certain that he would NOT institute the kinds of national security changes his base hoped for (and I was right — in fact, he has pursued the war with a stronger hand than Bush, and gotten away with it) and he just might give us meaningful health care reform. I even sorta had hopes for a rational energy policy.
But Romney’s virtue, to me, is that he does not represent the kind of change that his party has stood for since 2010 (or perhaps I should say, since the day after Election Day 2008, which seems to be the moment that party went off the rails). That’s a good thing.