Mitt Romney And The Dream Team
In one week the country will witness the first debate between President Obama and the Republican Candidate Mitt Romney. Up till this point in time, most Americans have made up their mind as to which of the two candidates they will vote for. But there are certain number of people, like myself, who are wondering who would be the better choice. As a professional who has served in the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush Sr administrations I was really quite apolitical in that I was honored to serve both the country and the Office of the Presidency. Only twice in my professional life was I asked to help out in a specific and minor way when it came to Bush Sr preparations for the debates against Michael Dukakis. At the time, I was able to develop a quick sketch of the candidates’ respective personalities and evaluating what their strength and weaknesses were. And a team of experts were able to implement those suggestions. That team consisted of some of the most prominent and experienced Republican statesmen and operatives, I have ever had the opportunity to work with. First and foremost , James Baker III was the leader and elegant executor of what he felt would be appropriate for his close friend George H. W, Bush Sr. Next in line, was one of the most brilliant communications experts I had ever met who was judicious, funny and quick –witted. His name has become a household brand –Roger Ailes. He not only got Nixon elected but Bush Sr as well. He understood how to implement my and other suggestions into a strategic Television and communications format that would convincingly convey the message of Bush Sr who by disposition was not a glib, histrionic speaker, but in contrast, was a serious, intense, brilliant analyst and former Director of the CIA [not often seen as an asset in a Presidential election]. But the man who held the entire process of Baker’s and Ailes initiatives was and still is a exceedingly competent, truly brilliant economist and operational workhouse, whose past and future accomplishments completely overwhelmed me. His name has also become a world- renown sobriquet for fiscal sobriety and operational competency. His name is Robert Zoellick. Eventually as many of you might know he went on to become Mr State Department under Secretary of State James Baker [in my opinion the best Sec State I had ever worked for]. From there Zoellick went on to work for Fannie Mae, Goldman Sachs, and then returned to become the Director of the US International Trade Commission where he negotiated countless treaties all over the world. Incidentally, he had a very talented deputy by the name of Ambassador John Huntsman who would later become an exceedingly skilled Ambassador to both Singapore and China [under the Obama Administration] and a Republican candidate for the Presidency [which I must admit I supported very wholeheartedly]. So why do I mention all of these outstanding Republican Senior officials at this time before the first debate?
The reason I have mentioned them is that these aforementioned individuals are all part of the amazing team of advisors that are on Mitt Romney’s team. Not only are these Republican professionals on Mitt’s team but I know of others like Ambassador Richard Williams who was an outstanding Reagan political and State Department intellect and operative. Also included in this Dream Team is someone I had the opportunity to work with but is often considered quite controversial and that is Ambassador John Bolton who despite his appropriate public criticism of the United Nations, he , nevertheless , afforded me the financial back-up when I was DAS for East Asia and the Pacific to underwrite the basis of the disarming of the Khmer Rouge and the strategic implementation of the 1991 Paris Peace Conference on Cambodia. He never took the deserved credit for that. So, here we are , with some of the Republican advisors whom I know personally to be quite competent and capable to bring any Republican candidate into the White House especially at a time when the economy is at it’s low , congress is in disgrace, and foreign policy is in a disarray. So why is Mitt not doing better?
Unfortunately, the problem lies not within the Dream Team but with Mitt. As a political psychiatrist who has treated and worked with countless politicians and Presidents , I would only resort to one simple question that I hope that Romney would consider before the debates. And that question, without sounding too reductionist or Freudian [ I was never really a fan of this neurologist addicted to cocaine] is quite simple: Why did you, Mitt, have to distance yourself politically and really personally from your incredibly brave and astute father, George Romney? Why did you shy away from your father’s brave and true statement that he made when he came back from a Vietnam tour that ‘the generals, politicians, and diplomats’ were lying to him. He was right. He may in your mind have lost the election because of that statement. But I feel that your flight from your father’s and mother’s courage as individuals and politicians may have cost you the election. All contests whether political or not, boil down to several simple truths! Who are you? And what do you want? And how much are you willing to pay for what you want?
Churchill once responded that the most important determination in political success as both as candidate and a leader is courage-not Machiavellian calculations.
The key question I have for you, Mr. Romney, is: do you have the courage before these debates to ask yourself those aforementioned questions and answer them honestly . Not to God. Nor to your wife. Nor to your Dream Team. But to yourself.
If so, good luck!!! L’audace! L’audace! Toujours L’audace!