My Romney Experience
Looking for a candidate, I went to Brookwood for brunch ...
With less than a full-day’s notice, more than 2,000 people turned out Sunday at Brookwood High in Snellville for a Pancake Brunch with Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. Some came out of support; some came for free pancakes; and yet others came seeking a candidate they could get behind before the Super Tuesday election. Though I was back among the press with some of the big names, I confess, I was there with hopes of finding a President.
I saw and spoke with several people that I felt sure shared some of my political ideaologies and hopes; Republicans from many paths in life - of differing ages, vastly different backgrounds and differing religious philosophies. To be honest, I was a bit surprised to see some of these people there and even more surprised to see some who were NOT.
Mike Beaudreau, Gwinnett County Commissioner for District 3, was helpful with putting the event together. Beaudreau, in the volunteer position as 7th District Chairman, got "the call" Friday evening saying that Governor Romney wanted to share the Sunday before Super Tuesday in our area. Working with friends and associates within the school system, he was able to make that happen.
Beaudreau was not an early supporter of Romney, but became a convert in the last few months. "What became crystal clear in the last 2-3 months that we needed to get behind somebody who could beat Obama. To have a candidate that could actually win. He seems to be the best candidate."
Beaudreau was among those who got a private moment with the governor and stood alongside him serving up the pancakes. Everything he saw and heard solidified his opinion and decision to support Romney. "He’s the only one running that has been an executive of a state; making decisions, not legislating, but someone who really leads. Romney is someone who can and has made the difficult decisions; implemented them and made them work."
Among those who also attended the brunch in the hopes of hearing a candidate they could get behind was Jimmy Norton, Chairman of Grayson’s Downtown Development Authority. Overall, he was pleased with what he heard. Romney’s plan for repealing “Obama Care” and instituting a tax deduction/credit for individuals who purchase their own insurance resonated highly. “It is a sensible change to the tax code, and necessary for our national well-being,” Norton said.
While Norton admits that he was undecided going in, Romney’s stance on National defense and government programs “defined him as the best possible candidate.” With a daughter that will soon enter the Armed Services, Norton was encouraged by Romney’s position of support on military efforts and infrastructure.
He views Romney as a positive candidate and cites his gubernatorial experiences as a reason why. “Any Governor that can institute legislation and progress across his party lines is indeed a bridge builder.”
I also had hopes that Romney would strike a cord that I could endorse. While each of the candidates have strengths, I was undecided due to just a few sticking points in their campaigns.
My impressions? I guess we all look for something different; I concur with Mr. Norton’s very decisive summary of the policies. However, as a first impression, I was immediately struck by the couple – Mitt and Ann. Powerful individually, and as a unit, comfortable with each other as only long-time trusting couples can be. I appreciated that. They were articulate but warm; knowledgeable and at the same time not condescending or arrogant. Their speeches were surely practiced, but not rote; relating to those in attendance comfortably and sincerely.
During his speech, Romney vowed to repeal Obamacare. When the mic was passed around for questions, a Marine asked quite simply, “What will replace it?” His answer of turning control over to each state to address the needs of citizens with the plan of helping Americans own their own individual insurance by making it more affordable through tax incentives sounded plausible and good on this side of the press box. I’ll need to look at that a bit more closely, but it is a good solution for most.
I also related to his stance on drilling to make the U.S. more independent of foreign energy resources and a statement made about reducing National debt that included NOT going further in debt to China to implement programs in the U.S. I love all our parks and greenspaces, but it is inconceivable to me that we have the natural resources to support ourselves, but continue to go into debt.
While I do not agree with Romney on 100 percent of the issues, he is the candidate I can comfortably vote for with a large measure of confidence in his ability to lead. Not just the “best of the least” but the Presidential candidate that I think best exemplifies *MY* vision of what a leader should be.
Though the Georgia polls show New Gingrich with a commanding lead, Romney's mostly volunteer staff has approached Super Tuesday as if they were running 14 different races, doing what they can to win in each of the 14 districts.
Commissioner Beaudreau says that the efforts of the volunteers are nothing short of heroic. He expresses the importance of "nominating and getting behind somebody NOW."
I encourage each of you to get out and vote today; in many districts every single vote DOES have an impact on the man who will serve our country as President. And in every instance, your vote is your voice. Be heard.
UPDATED at 12:05 p.m.