Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, March 04, 2013

A Losing Romney Does Not Disappoint

The man who promised to kill Big Bird is now devoting his foundation to children. In defeat, Mitt Romney is still the same shape shifter Americans knew so well before last Election Day.

He reappears on Fox, clueless as ever to explain that darned 47 percent again, “What I said is not what I believe” and concede “We weren't effective in taking my message primarily to minority voters—-to Hispanic-Americans, to African-Americans, other minorities. That was a real weakness."

Commenting on the current Washington crisis, he offers the insight, “They may be more interested in showing pain and saying, ‘See what the other guys did.’ Nero is fiddling.”

Romney’s lack of wit and grace recalls a politician with so much of both who lost the presidency twice to Dwight Eisenhower half a century ago, Adlai E. Stevenson, whose qualities of mind and heart seem as distant in these days of Sequesterland as Downton Abbey.

During his losing quests, Stevenson told supporters, “When the tumult and the shouting die, when the bands are gone and the lights are dimmed, there is the stark reality of responsibility in an hour of history haunted with those gaunt, grim specters of strife, dissension, and materialism at home, and ruthless, inscrutable, and hostile power abroad...Sacrifice, patience, understanding, and implacable purpose may be our lot for years to come. ... Let's talk sense to the American people! Let’s tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains.”

As Romney retreats into his riches, it is impossible to envision a future in public service for him like Stevenson’s moment shortly before his death as JFK’s Ambassador to the UN confronting the Russians over missiles in Cuba, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over.”

The only consolation for today’s chaos lies in the realization of how much worse the mess in Washington would be if Romney were in the White House rather than Obama.

Time dubbed Stevenson “The Graceful Loser” for his post-election behavior, including the explanation, “I have said what I meant and meant what I said. I have not done as well as I should like to have done, but I have done my best, frankly and forthrightly; no man can do more, and you are entitled to no less.”

That should be recalled not only to Romney the loser but those who have won and are up to whatever it is they are doing now in Washington.

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