Zac Byer: A Few Thoughts About Mitt…

No Prix Fixe or full menu today — kitchen’s closed early.  But I wanted to make a comment or two about the once-secret video of Mitt Romney that’s saturated the airwaves over the last 24 hours…
Frankly, I have no idea what Mitt Romney truly believes.  The talking heads seem certain that Romney’ closed-door comments represent his actual convictions.  I’m not convinced.  He was addressing a small group of high-roller donors who love to feel like they’re getting their $25,000-a-dinner’s worth.  Trust me — Romney’s stump speech a signed picture wouldn’t pay for that undercooked beef wellington they served.  So, to please his check-writing audience, Romney felt the need to say something “fresh,” to be “bold.”  Instead of giving them the usual talking points (or, better yet, insights into the policy plans he hasn’t shared with anybody else), he threw some red meat to the crowd and hoped they’d bite.
Please don’t be confused here.  In no way am I defending Romney.  Actually, I’m criticizing him for something which, I believe, is far worse than the socio-political view he espoused that night.  Simply put, the man has no core principles.  He’s a practical, numbers-oriented business man.  And he’s perfectly suited for the board room or corner office.  I’m not so sure about the Oval Office.
We need leaders who say what they mean and mean what they say.  This video cements my belief that Romney simply says what he says depending on the audience, only to later to explain what he means because then he’ll have had ample time to realize what the prevailing opinion wanted him to mean.  If that sounds convoluted, it’s because I’m having such a hard time wrapping my hands around him.  For all his shortcomings, at least you knew where George W. Bush stood.  For heaven’s sake, you could actually find firm ground on which to agree or disagree with him.   
The stage is so large, and yet this man seems so small.  What a shame.
The Obama campaign will get a lot of mileage out of this, simply by letting Romney and his mediocre communication team fan the flames.  But if they do want to make a 30-second ad out of this, they’ll take this line from Romney’s appearance on Cavuto today:  “I think people would like to be paying taxes.”  This was his attempt to say that the 47% will be happy to pay income taxes because it’ll mean they have jobs.  Really, though, those nine words will juxtapose perfectly with Romney’s effective 15% tax rate, his Swiss Bank account, and his Cayman Islands tax shelter.


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