Mitt Romney for President

The Republican nomination process for president is well underway, with the two earliest contests in Iowa and New Hampshire now complete. The field has narrowed from an original eight serious candidates to the current six. Some ”experts” are declaring that the race is now effectively between just two.

The Board of Directors of Bearing Drift, in consultation with our roster of contributors, has voted to endorse Mitt Romney of Massachusetts for the Republican nomination.

This endorsement did not come easily or quickly.

None of the Republican candidates are flawless and none of them are so outstanding that they deserve acclamation. And while Romney has won an historic sweep of both Iowa and New Hampshire, it is hard to tell whether this is a result of his being a strong candidate or merely the strongest in a relatively weak field.

Each candidate has strengths and weaknesses, but we feel Romney has emerged as the only candidate with the ability, organization, skill and leadership to both beat the President in November and to govern America well.

Conservatives have good reason to be skeptical of Romney’s claims of conservatism, particularly at the beginning of this campaign. But he has now been campaigning in effect for the better part of five years, and he has been consistent throughout in articulating conservative principles with passion and conviction. He has staked out conservative policy positions with sufficient specificity that he cannot and and will not change those positions during the general election. Indeed, he has already focused his campaign on Barack Obama by contrasting Obama’s leftist record with Romney’s conservative agenda

The 2012 election, like all second term elections for an incumbent President, will be a referendum on President Obama’s leadership. And while the many Republican candidates and their supporters are often widely separated on policy and positions, the one thing they all can agree on is that the President has been a failure, both as a leader and as a manager.

Elected in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama has done little to stabilize the economy, reduce unemployment and return America to economic expansion. Instead of focusing on job creation and providing economic stimulus – real economic stimulus, not a giveaway of hundreds of billions of dollars to states in the form of transfer payments and subsidies – he chose to pass a health care law that raised taxes on every American and will likely cause catastrophic fiscal problems in the decades to come. His management of the executive branch has been nothing short of incompetent. His Administration is largely regarded, by inside and outside the beltway as poorly managed, and he has appointed some of the most lackluster cabinet secretaries in recent memory.

Instead of hope and change, it’s time for America to get some good, old fashioned competence.

Of all the candidates who have put themselves forward, only Mitt Romney has the mix of experience and competence at a variety of levels that indicate he is ready to serve as President.

One of three governors in the contest, Romney alone has significant experience in executive positions outside of government. He has demonstrated in a variety of ways that he knows what it takes to lead organizations, and he recognizes that government works best when it focuses on core functions.

He has committed himself to governing as a conservative. Yes, he signed RomeyCare into law, but we are confident that Governor Romney recognizes that what may have been good for Massachusetts may not be good for Virginia or the rest of America. And it is also important to note that while the Massachusetts health care law is not something Republicans want to see enacted nationally, it was a far more free-market based program when it was originally introduced, only being reduced to its current form over Romney’s veto by his overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature.

Romney has come under unfair criticism from some of his opponents, including being attacked for being a successful businessman. It’s a sad day when Republicans begin to adopt class warfare style attacks of the left, particularly when those attacks are without merit. Romney has demonstrated what can be accomplished in the free market and he deserves credit for his business successes, not the kind of rhetoric we’d expect out of Nancy Pelosi.

Romney has also had a singular focus on balancing the budget. He sees it as a moral imperative to not pass on the burden of overwhelming debt to our children. As a successful businessman and governor, he has the record and know-how to inspire confidence in his abilities. We have confidence that he will follow through on this extremely important commitment. Given that the president has accelerated deficit spending and the national debt more than any other in American history, we can think of no other challenger more capable of turning this trend around.

Romney ran a strong race for President in 2008 and came close to winning. Ironically, he was the “anti-McCain” candidate in 2008 that many conservatives flocked to after viewing John McCain as being too moderate. Had foreign policy concerns not been at the top of voters’ minds before the market crash of September when the nomination was over, Romney may well have been the Republican nominee in 2008. Despite some claims, Romney has never been “next in line,” for the nomination. He has earned his success through hard work and diligence. He is not and was not a part of the Washington that gave us the massive debt and runaway regulation that most Republicans want to resolve in the next four years.

Beyond Romney’s ability to govern, he also has demonstrated an ability to win. Elected office represents two separate and distinct jobs. Even the most gifted of governors cannot govern if he cannot win the election. So a President must be both good at campaigning and good at governing. President Obama is a perfect example – he is one of the most gifted campaigners in American history. But he cannot govern. Likewise, while some of the Republican candidates would likely be excellent in office, they have demonstrated an inability to win in presidential contests. Romney has shown that his campaign is the most organized and best equipped to take the fight to President Obama in November.

We are making this endorsement because it is apparent that Romney is not only the best candidate but also very likely the inevitable one. Accordingly, there is no reason to delay closing ranks behind him so that he can begin raising funds and adjusting his campaign to focus on defeating Barack Obama. After Romney wins in South Carolina, he will be the Republican nominee.

There is no doubt that Mitt Romney has the intestinal fortitude to take the “3 a.m. phone call” and make the correct decision. In matters of national defense, and emphasized in the endorsement by John McCain, Romney has proven he has the capacity to make the tough decisions to protect and preserve our nation as commander-in-chief. He has demonstrated already in this campaign superiority to any of the other candidates on national defense issues. Additionally, because he has taken a true introspective look at when life begins, we believe he will fight for the life movement and ensure Supreme Court justices are appointed that respect the rule of law instead of rule from the bench.

Mitt Romney had done what should be expected of conservatives and liberals alike – he has matured as a human being and developed political positions that demonstrate that maturity. While some deride his metamorphosis as political expedience, we see a man who has made deliberate and conscientious steps to develop a firm conservative foundation.

Overall, Bearing Drift believes that Mitt Romney represents the best candidate in the Republican field and the one candidate most likely to defeat President Obama in the general election. He has our endorsement.