Commentary: How I'd survive a Romney presidency

The Kansas City StarNovember 5, 2012 


Barbara Shelly is a columnist for the Kansas City Star.

MBR — Kansas City Star/MCT

Fast forward just over a week. It is midmorning and I am still in bed with the blankets pulled over my head.

This is partly because I was up late the night before, and partly because, before retiring, I canvassed the house for stupefying substances.

It is Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Mitt Romney is president-elect of the United States.

Morning in America? Not for me.

I fear the return of the neocons, with their blustery foreign policy. And the unraveling of health care reform. I dread the idea of industry interests retaking control of the regulatory agencies. Shudder. Why did I never get around to purchasing blackout curtains?

But it is time to face the day — not to mention the next four years. My Republican parents always told us to “make the best of it,” so I will busy myself thinking up reasons why I should be able to live with Romney as president.

Let’s go for 10.

1. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney led the way to Romneycare — a system whereby citizens must purchase health insurance and then are able to shop for affordable policies. Thanks to Romneycare, 98 percent of Massachusetts citizens have access to affordable health care. What a great idea! We should try that nationwide. Oh, wait ...

2. For all I know, Romney didn’t mean a word he said in the entire campaign. Once in the White House, he’ll just get out the old Etch A Sketch and, as his campaign adviser said, “You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.” Excellent! Having liked very little of what Romney has said so far, I am all in favor of a reboot.

3. Romney has promised to create 12 million jobs in his first term. Awesome! That’s 3 million jobs a year, or 57,692 jobs a week. I know a lot of people looking for jobs. Bring ’em on.

4. Got to give credit where credit is due. Romney did do a fine job of salvaging and running the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The Olympics are a cakewalk compared with Washington, but a track record as a fixer doesn’t hurt.

5. Jim Talent, the former U.S. senator from Missouri, was a key campaign adviser for Romney and should end up with a role in his administration. I seriously have a lot of respect for the talented Mr. Talent.

6. I like runners, and used to be one, so it’s fabulous that our soon-to-be vice president, Paul Ryan, ran a marathon in under three hours. Oh, wait, it was a little over four hours? Well, who’s counting? Ryan is a workout freak, and we’ll need the inspiration once Michelle Obama moves her “Let’s Move” campaign from the White House.

7. Things could be worse. We could be looking at Next Gingrich for president. Or Rick Santorum, Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann. Remember them?

8. Romney boasted in a debate that he had “binders full of women” to consider for high-ranking jobs in his administration in Massachusetts. Just think what that could mean, writ large, in a Romney presidency. File cabinets full of women. Whole computer banks full of women! I can picture it already ... the nation’s first all-woman cabinet.

9. Romney has a way of phrasing things, like “binders full of women,” that is, well, slightly off. Like when he said he loved the state of Michigan because “the trees are the right height.” That kind of talk is great for Twitter, Facebook and late-night comedians. If I can’t be happy, I can at least be amused.

10. I can live with a Romney presidency because this is a great country and we are a great democracy. Romney himself said, “I like to fire people.” Perfect. If he doesn’t live up to his promises, 12 million jobs et al., we can fire him in 2016.

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