|Mitt and Ann Romney|
Charleston, SC 1/14/2012
Sometimes it's good to be in the right place at the right time, especially when you live in the state that boasts the First in the South Presidential Primary.
Mrs. Dalai, Dalai, Jr., and I were in Charleston for the wedding of a friend's niece, and had the day to wander around. It was a bit chilly, but we took a leisurely stroll through the revamped Market (slaves were never sold there, by the way) and had some rather good seafood for lunch.
As we approached the Charleston Place Hotel, we noticed the Romney-Bus parked outside, with a small crowd gathering, and we proceeded over to check it out. Yes, Governor Romney himself was to appear momentarily, and, indeed, after waiting only briefly, he and his wife walked around the corner. The Governor shook the hands of the twenty or so of us standing on the sidewalk. He got to Junior first, and then to me. He looked me in the eye, and shook my hand quite firmly. I nodded my head gently, greeting him as "Governor." Romney paused a bit, as if to give me a chance to say something else, perhaps something more intelligent. Now here's where you will all think I've lost it, and you may well be right. In that pause, in that hesitation, I sensed...humility. I can't totally tell you why, but I did. In my old age, I've learned to rely on my instincts, and they don't lead me wrong too often. Well, usually they don't.
Here is a very wealthy and powerful man, quite likely to be the Republican nominee, and then, God-willing, to be the President of the United States, displacing the accident of fate we have now. Do I think Mr. Romney is perfect? Heavens, no. He has a lot of baggage, just like every other candidate, and most of the rest of us, for that matter. But the man has presence, he has charisma, he has charm, and he does have the air of confidence. But my instinct, my gut-feeling, my sixth-sense, tells me that these characteristics are tempered by humanity, humility if you will. I didn't have the chance to meet any of the other fellows on the trail, so I can't put them through the same test. I'm not sure they would pass.
I can't expect any of you out there to feel what I felt, or to trust my intuition. Frankly, it's pretty much a moot point, as Mr. Romney is expected to win his third victory here in South Carolina, and with that set the tone for the rest of the primary season. Beyond that, I can only hope he learned his lessons about Romney-Care, and will do a little better spinning the Bain story. On various other issues, he says mostly the right things.
They say one casts a vote either for the candidate one likes, or against the fellow one doesn't. Come November, perhaps we'll be able to do both.