S. Randolph Waldman: A Closing Argument for Romney

I could write several pages of  why I think that Mitt Romney must be our next President but I realize that much  of it will fall on deaf ears as everyone has their own take on every issue that  I will bring up. Some will call out for a larger government, and I will argue for  a smaller government. Some will call out for increasing taxes, while I would  argue the opposite. So I am not going to waste my time or yours repeating the same party talking points.

I think that there is one issue that no one can really argue. We must have bi-partisan participation and compromise in the next four years if we are to resolve the major fiscal problems that threaten not only our country but also the entire free world.

Barack Obama promised to unite our country but we knew early on that this  would not be the case. Early examples were sobering including the failed stimulus trillion and the health care plan. Obama has not only failed to unite us….”there are no blue states or red states only the United States” ….but he  has been the most partisan President in the history of the US.

Romney has been called a Massachusetts moderate by his challengers in the  Republican Party and most of us think that is accurate. He reached across the  aisle as a Governor and everyone expects him to do the same as President. Does  anyone really think that Axelrod, Jarrett, Holder, Cutter, or other White House  insiders to do the same. Instead it will be four more years of a dysfunctional  Washington where name and blame continues and the public continues to be more and more disenchanted.

We need a President who will actually meet with Democrats as often as he  does Republicans . We need to shove aside ideology in favor of pragmatism. There  is only one candidate who will appoint moderates to positions of leadership.  There is only one candidate who will govern from the middle. Mitt Romney must be our next President .

S. Randolph Waldman, MD is the Director of Waldman -Schantz Plastic Surgery

Dan Creinin: A Closing Argument for Obama

While our current POTUS has not come through with many of the campaign promises that he made in the 2008 election, I get the sense that he takes responsibilities for these missed goals, and will continue to work toward moving the country forward.

When I listen to Mitt Romney, and look at the amount of pivoting that he has done, I feel he speaks with a forked tongue.  I think that he is a strong business leader, but, I don’t think that he has the majority of this country in mind.  I don’t feel like he can truly connect with the middle, wherever the middle is.

It’s not one thing, but a summary of things.  Everyone makes a bad comment, or has a bad day, but, with Mitt, in looking at this statements, he seems to be contradicting himself throughout the entire nomination and election process.

I don’t feel like he can be trusted with running this country.

Greg Harris: Closing Argument for Mitt Romney — Views from his Base

Insurance Executive:  We don’t like Obamacare.  Before Obama, our control over the health industry gave us great license to do everything we wanted to do in order to make big bucks.  A person on one of our polices who gets really sick and expensive to cover?  Throw them off.  A child with a pre-existing condition who will cost more to insure over a lifetime?  Deny her coverage.  Can’t afford coverage?  Sucks to be you.

We also became very adept at spending more on ourselves and our middle-men than spending on healthcare.  Obama now isn’t letting us do that.  We actually have to send rebates to the people we insure if we spend more on ourselves than on their health!  And his purchasing cooperatives will make us compete with private insurers in cities and in some cases, entire states, in areas where we once had absolute monopolies, which will make us lower prices to be competitive.  Yeah, we price out about 50 million people, but that’s free enterprise!  Vote Romney!

Plutocrat:  Obama will appoint Supreme Court Justices that will most certainly overturn Citizens United.  My ability to anonymously fund Super PAC’s with unlimited dollars is my right because the Supreme Court says spending and speech are one in the same.  Indeed, rich people are now much freer than everyday people.  Let’s keep it that way.  I spent $20 million helping Romney via my Super PAC; but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to tax cuts I will receive if Romney prevails.  And some of my wealth will even trickle down to the lowly 47%, so everybody wins!  Vote Romney!

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Greg Harris: Closing Argument for Mitt Romney — Views from his Base

Tim Hamm: A Closing Argument for Obama

Quite simply, one has to ask before pulling the lever: Do I want this man to be president?

Do I want my candidate to win, or simply the other man to lose?

I know when I voted for the president’s re-election that I would be getting a return to fair taxation, a continued drawdown of foreign wars, the rights of women respected fully, and a continuation of a recovery program that has taken us from hemorrhaging 700000 jobs a month to gaining thousands more.

Still, the right has vilified this man from jump street.  Their stated top priority on his election day was not to help the country right itself after the failure of their rule, but to defeat the president.  For four years they have stood in the way of growth for their own political ends.  They have blocked every measure they could that would improve the economy and to top it off, they are now running a candidate without a single firm position other than, “I’m not the guy your radio tells you to hate.”

Will you reward them?

Will you elect a man who has presented no ideas?

Will you hand power back to those who have so recently and so fully abused it?

James Pence: My Closing Argument for NOTA (NSFW)

(While this closing argument might approach the civility line, it certainly is bi-partisan (or anti-partisan), and it was too funny to pass up. Besides, we love Jim Pence, who blogs at Hillbilly Report. – eds)

My fellow Americans. This has been a long and trying campaign and I’m sure you’ve noticed that I intend to screw you if I’m elected.

My opponent has said time and time again he intends to screw you to.

Screwing 314,653,649 people is a big job and we’re asking, along with your vote, you send us any left over Viagra you might have and in turn we’ll send you a coupon for a extra large tube of K-Y Jelly.

I am asking for your vote and look forward to screwing you. God bless you and God bless America.

Artur Davis: A Closing Argument for Mitt Romney

If it turns out the life of Barack Obama’s presidency is measured in months, left-leaning analysts will agonize over what went so wrong. Their explanations will range from confusion over how a stunningly gifted orator never mastered the greatest national pulpit, to consternation about the intransigence of Republicans and the eruption of the Tea Party, to sober hand-wringing about the intractable nature of 21st Century democracy.

But the mourning will not match the genuine misery and perplexity many Americans feel regarding the state of the nation. For all the explanations of how Obama has fallen short of his promise, the simplest one is in the discontent of those 23 million plus individuals who are under or unemployed, some for such long stretches that they have fallen through the cracks of the government’s official statistics. These men and women are the source of a national fury over why things are the way they are, and they and the Americans who know them have proved resistant to deflecting responsibility or changing the subject.

To be sure, as his defenders never cease to point out, Obama was greeted with the debris of a national calamity. The country seemed to be teetering on the edge of depression for stretches in late 2008 and early 2009, a casualty of a Washington environment that privileged and made unaccountable the giant government sponsored housing enterprises and a reckless Wall Street culture that took the risk out of lending for the mortgagor. But rather than tackle the crisis with single-mindedness, Obama veered off in too many scattered directions: a stimulus whose legacy is a slew of poor returns on investments in alternative energy and uncompleted construction projects, a partisan healthcare law that drained off a year of the administration’s efforts, a massive overhaul of the carbon producing economy that was too unwieldy for even many Democrats to embrace, a financial industry bill that has not stopped excessive leveraging in the capital markets. The portfolio is one that Obama and his allies have strained to explain, much less justify.

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Artur Davis: A Closing Argument for Mitt Romney

Ron Granieri: I’m An Undecided Voter — And Yes, I Know How Babies Are Made

As the late night comics and cable screaming heads continue to mock and skewer the small percentage of undecided voters who will tip the balance in next week’s presidential election — How can someone be so stupid as to not be able to tell the difference between the two candidates? — I learned that one of the smartest people I’ve ever met is among this derided consitituency. 

Ron Granieri is a graduate of Harvard College, earned his PhD in History from the University of Chicago, and has served as a professor at an Ivy League university.  Moreover, as a precocious college student — who happened to be my roommate — Ron’s near photographic memory would enable him to beat me at Trivial Pursuit without ever allowing me a turn. 

I’ve asked Ron to share with the RP Nation the path of a Reagan acoloyte who became frustrated with the far right turn of the GOP, only to be later disenchanted with the promise of the Obama Administration. 

Because it will be voters like Ron who could ultimately determine our next President.

The RP

= = = =

When The RP approached me the other day to ask me to join in the round table of “closing statements” for one candidate or another in the presidential election, it forced me to confront something I have tried to avoid for many months.

We have all seen the skits and made the jokes about undecided voters. Saturday Night Live mocked them for being ignorant.  [Watch the video at the bottom of this post — in which an undecided voter asks whether French kissing could lead to pregnancy.] The brilliant Steven Colbert recently took it even further, comparing the elusive undecided voter to Jodie Foster’s epically (if unintentionally) hilarious backcountry wild child, Nell.

I have enjoyed a few chuckles at these images myself. But deep down I have been hiding a shameful secret: I am one of them.

I never thought it would come to this.

Ron’s childhood idol

I have always been politically curious, going back to my childhood when I talked politics with my extremely political father. I can remember telling him I thought President Nixon should resign during the summer of 1974 (I was 7). By the time I was in high school in the early 1980s, I had become, following in the intellectual footsteps of my childhood idol, William F. Buckley, Jr., an enthusiastic conservative. My father, who admired Buckley in spite of rather than because of his ideology, was not completely happy about that, but he respected my positions, and we had some wonderfully spirited arguments. When the Georgetown School of Foreign Service application requested an essay outlining the one international problem I would most like to address in my future career, I wrote a perfervid essay on the need to combat international communism. No copy of the essay survives from that pre-word processing age, unless it is in a Georgetown archive somewhere, but I well remember being proud of calling communism “an international gangrene that threatens the health and safety of every society it touches.” I wonder what the folks at the Walsh School thought of it. I don’t know if it helped or not, but I did get in, even if I ended up going somewhere else.

In college I became one of the most visible conservatives on campus, editing Harvard’s monthly conservative student paper, the Salient. It culminated in my being featured in a full page of the graduation issue of the Crimson in 1989, as one of a handful of notable graduates of my class. That article, I discovered, is still available online, but when I think of it I think of the yellowing clipping that my mother framed and hung on the wall in what used to be my bedroom in Niagara Falls.


Graduation Day: Ron at far left, The RP, second from right

I had opinions on everything back then. Some of them I still hold; some I do not. A few of them make me shake my head in affectionate embarrassment for a young man who was awfully full of himself. Nevertheless, I had a pretty clear sense of where I stood on things; I voted in every election I could, and my votes followed those convictions. It was not always easy to be the most conservative person in the room (an experience that followed me from college to graduate school to at least the start of my academic career). But it worked well thanks to lots of good friends and plenty of mutual good will and respect for differences.

In 88, Ron supported Bush 41, but teen hooligans made him a sleeping billboard for the liberal Dukakis

Gradually, however, my sense of having a clear political home began to shift. Part of it was seven years living in the wonderful state of South Carolina, birthplace of both Steven Colbert and Strom Thurmond. In the final years of the last century and the early years of this one, I saw a Republican party that became increasingly focused on issues that did not appeal to me. On the local level I saw a rising tide of anti-intellectualism, anti-urbanism, and nativism. The national party displayed those traits as well, but mostly became fixated on slashing taxes, and too often responded to serious discussions about how to provide enough revenue for existing programs with vaguely neo-Confederate rhetoric about shrinking government disconnected from political reality. It was the party of the suburbs, of the Sun Belt and the Evangelicals. None of those traits much appealed to me, an Italian-Irish Catholic intellectual from a Rust Belt industrial town who prefers Alexander Hamilton to Thomas Jefferson and believes the Good Guys indisputably won The War of the Rebellion. The Cold War conservatism that I had embraced so closely, with its sense of national purpose, was dying out, and the new individualized Right was leaving me cold.

I remember well the moment when I really felt that things were slipping away. It was in spring 2000, on the eve of the South Carolina primary. I answered the phone and it was someone from the George W. Bush campaign team taking a poll. She was very pleasant, asked me if I had decided whether to vote for Bush or John McCain, and I admitted I was thinking it over. She then launched into a critique of McCain that trumpeted Bush’s plans for immediate tax cuts that would give the budget surplus back to the voters. I responded that I liked a lot of things about Governor Bush’s “compassionate conservatism,” which I took to mean conservatism based not simply on individualism but which included a sense of shared community responsibility. At the same time, I told her I did not really think that it made sense to rush to cut taxes when we still had a national debt in the trillions. (This was even before Afghanistan, Iraq, Medicare Part D and TARP, of course.)

An embarrassed pause followed. Then she curtly thanked me for my comments and hung up.

I should have taken that as a clear sign of where the Bush campaign stood and where my concerns fit into that agenda. But breaking up is hard to do. Even as I felt increasingly alienated from the GOP, it continued to get my votes. At least, that is, until 2008, when my frustration with the party and where it had led the country moved me to turn my back on them and vote for Barack Obama.

There, I said it. College friends may need a moment. I’ll wait. I recommend deep breaths.

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Ron Granieri: I’m An Undecided Voter — And Yes, I Know How Babies Are Made

Submit YOUR Closing Argument for Campaign 2012

As you may have noticed, we are only 11 days away from what some call the most important presidential election of our era.

OK, they say that every 4 years…but it is certainly clear that the American people are being offered two highly contrasting visions of the nation’s future.

This week, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are offering their closing arguments to the American people — summations of why they have earned your vote.

That’s why we are dedicating a week at The Recovering Politician to Campaign 2012: The Closing Argument.  Over the course of the week, a dozen of our contributors — of course, representing both sides of the aisle — will be making their own summations for the candidate of their choice.

And you can, too.  We are calling on the RP Nation to join in as well.  Send us a closing argument for your presidential candidate — Obama, Romney, or a 3rd party candidate if you prefer.  If it is only a paragraph or two — or just one strongly worded sentence — feel free to leave it in the comments section below.  If it is longer — up to a maximum of 1000 words — you can email it to Staff@TheRecoveringPolitician.com.  To ensure its publication, please send it to us by Noon, Thursday, November 1.

And who knows, maybe a campaign staffer picks up your ideas, shares it with the candidate, and you will have changed the course of American history.  Or perhaps you just get a kick sharing your thoughts with thousands of other readers across the country.

Either way, we’d love you to join us.

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