This morning, Mitt Romney formally announced that he’s running for president. He made the announcement during a speech in Dearborn, Michigan at an automotive museum. Romney’s father George was a popular and successful governor of Michigan and, before that, the head of an automobile company.
In his remarks, Romney used the museum and the technological advances it chronicles to speak about his life-long pursuit of innovation and transformation in the public and private sectors. This, I believe, will be the major theme of his campaign. And it’s a valid one. I view Romney as an old-fashioned “good government” Republican, but one who also believes in and will adhere to socially conservative values. He thus represents a synthesis of traditional 1950s Republicanism and the newer kind.
Some might claim that Romney’s a synthetic, rather than a synthesis, candidate. I doubt that’s the case, his unwillingness to run as a social conservative in Massachusetts notwithstanding. The synthesis I’ve just described seems to reflect not only two strands of Republicanism, but also Romney’s life experiences as a devout religious believer and a modern, cutting edge business consultant.
The biggest political cloud on the horizon for Romney, as for all Republican contenders, is probably the war in Iraq. Here is what Romney said about that:
Across the nation, there is debate about our future course in Iraq. Our desire to bring our troops home, safely and soon, is met with our recognition that if Iraq descends into all-out civil war, millions could die; that Iraq’s Sunni region could become a base for Al Qaeda; that its Shia region could be seized by Iran; that Kurd tension could destabilize Turkey; and even that the broader Middle East could be drawn into conflict. The possible implications for America and for American interests from such developments could be devastating. It could mean a future with far more military involvement and far more loss of American life. For these reasons, I believe that so long as there is a reasonable prospect of success, our wisest course is to seek stability in Iraq, with additional troops endeavoring to secure the civilian population.
By the way, I’m scheduled to interview Governor Romney tomorrow morning.
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