You can’t help but be struck by the difference of the two candidates in addressing the NAACP this week. It couldn’t be more stark.
Romney chose not to take the easy way out which would have been to ignore the convention and skip it. Instead, he appeared before the members, knowing they were hostile to him, anyway. He knew he would not get a good reception. He knew if he brought up unpleasantries such as Obamacare, he might be booed. He was. He knew that he would be criticized whatever he said and that it would be reported that he was paternalistic, patronizing and out of touch with blacks in America.
But he went. And, he delivered an honest speech.
President Obama knew that he would be received royally by the NAACP members. All that would be lacking would be the palm branches. He knew he could say anything, even quasi insulting things, and the audience would roar its approval. He knew the press would report his speech as brilliant. He knew the coverage would be fawning. He knew he would not gain a single vote there because he already has them all.
So he phoned it in.
It’s a typical reaction of someone who has been promoted unquestioningly throughout his life. Want to go to college? The way was paved for him. Want to go to Harvard? Someone paid for it. Want to be a law professor? It was easily attained. Want to write a book? I’m convinced it was written for him by Bill Ayers and miraculously became a best seller. Want to get ahead in politics? The way was opened for him, eliminating any competition. Want a nice house in Chicago? Tony Rezko made it happen. Want to be a Senator after a lackluster short time in the Illinois legislature? No problem. It was done. President? He was put on the path and money flowed to him.
In other words, he really hasn’t had to accomplish anything. He’s our first affirmative action president. Even in the Oval Office his work has been done by others.
Obamacare was written by others. The decision to kill Bin Laden was made and done by others; from what I read he was pressured into it. Failures? They get blamed on your enemies: Bush, Congressional Republicans, greedy bankers, Wall St., etc. Obama has had time for golf, fancy vacations, schmoozing with celebrities and campaigning. Public speaking? It gets done by others, written for him to read as he clings to his teleprompter even when appearing before kindergartners.
So it’s no surprise that he phoned in his speech to the NAACP. He probably even enjoyed their disappointment that he did not make an appearance.
It’s not the American way. It’s not the American hard scrabble to success story. Romney’s life is much more in alignment with that than Obama’s.
Too bad their audience didn’t appreciate that.