The luxury of likability

Vision, not charisma, is more important aspect of a president

He has to define himself. He has to appear at ease, even funny if possible.

 

Most of all, the pundits are telling us, Mitt Romney has to be likable in his acceptance speech this week.

That’s all very nice. But it’s also a ploy to become class president – not the president of the most powerful nation on Earth.

Barack Obama’s public persona is arguably the most affable we’ve seen in some time. But what has that done for your pocketbook? What effect has his smile had on unemployment numbers? Did his beer summit improve race relations? Do his quips have an impact on the stock market?

Liking, even loving, our commander in chief is a nice luxury, but how in the world does that put food on the table?

The rest of the world, much of which depends on our economic and military strength, would be absolutely horrified if it contemplated for long the frivolous, superficial and inconsequential criteria upon which this country’s presidential elections seem to hinge.

Really? We’re worried about likability? How someone makes us feel is as important, if not more so, than how he’ll affect our lives?

This cult of personality is no way to run a lemonade stand, much less the world’s superpower.

Republican National Convention speeches leading up to Romney’s on Thursday will be designed to set the stage, and to help frame the man – particularly for voters who’ve not paid close attention until now. And there will be a concerted effort for people to get to know him.

It’s a good bet that at the end of the convention, the country will know considerably more about Gov. Romney’s background than we did, or perhaps still do, about the current president’s.

Thankfully, though, Romney wants to concentrate on his vision and his plan to get America back on track, as he should. “I’ll describe my views and issues and concerns,” he told one media outlet, “but I don’t have a plan to take everybody to my childhood home and say, ‘Here’s where I rode my bicycle.’”

It’s infinitely more important where he wants to take the country.

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