Okay – calling it a “lunch date” might be stretching it a bit, but since I’ve previously employed the dating metaphor for the nominee selection process, I figured I’d have a little fun with it. The other night, I received an e-mail invite to “Join Mitt in St. Louis” this afternoon. The event was held at Production Products, a local military contractor, on one of its factory floors.
I thought, “Why not?” and RSVP’d to attend. I also invited a co-worker to join me, as she’d never been to a political event before. We arrived around 11:15 and, after waiting outside the facility for about an hour (thankfully, though sunny, it wasn’t outrageously hot), we were ushered in through a metal detector and brief security check. Inside, several rows of folding chairs surrounded a small stage on three sides. All told, I’d say there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 attendees. My co-worker and I selected seats in the third row, off to the right side, which wasn’t bad, except that one of the spotlights across the stage was directly in my line of sight, so it made snagging decent photos a bit dicey.
The backdrop was this banner:
Along with, of course, the American flag:
The wait, once seated, was another 30 minutes, while set up was completed. At least the music they were playing was palatable — a little country, some Van Halen, some Elvis. Finally, we were treated to a lovely rendition of the National Anthem, followed by an introduction from Barry Corona, President of Production Products. Mr. Corona gave some background regarding his company, spoke of the struggles small business owners like him contend with in the face of over-regulation, and then ushered in Governor Romney.
Romney looked sharp in his standard shirt-sleeves-and-tie. His speech was relatively short — maybe 15 or 20 minutes — and about what you’d expect of a Romney stump speech. Focusing on jobs and the economy and leadership; contrasting Obama’s style and vision with his own. Exactly what he needs to be doing.
Every time I see or hear Romney speak lately, the phrase, “Slow and steady wins the race,” is called to mind. For the most part, he tucked his head down and stayed doggedly on course through the primary, only allowing himself to get sidetracked a few times. And, in the end, it paid off. You get the sense that Romney knows this is what he needs to do through the general if he is to be successful. And, to his credit, he does know a thing or two about success.
I can quibble here or there with his policy positions. I can take issue with past decisions he’s made. And I’m sure I’ll take issue with future decisions he makes, as well. But when I look at him, I see a guy who knows what the hell he’s doing. Which is a helluva lot more than I can say about Obama. Romney, at least, inspires a smidge of confidence — that he’s capable and that, at heart, he does want what’s best for this country. And damned if we don’t need that right about now.
So…I’m glad I got to spend my lunch hour(s) with Mitt today. It helped cement, for me, the belief that he’s a guy who can stay the course.