“Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose”

One of the truly great sports book ever written was Buzz Bissinger’s “Friday Night Lights”. The story was so compelling it was popular in every version — best-selling book, 2 movies (Varsity Blues and Friday Night Lights) and the hit TV show as well as dozens of different spin-offs. The mantra of the embattled coach in the story: “Clear eyes. Full heart. Can’t lose.”  That phrase was posted in the doorway at the debate in Denver when Romney stakes his claim to the Presidency.  Ever since that night, the phrase has been laced throughout every Romney campaign stop including his heart wrenching story of helping a 14-year-old boy write his own will. West Texas football isn’t an obvious fit for Mormon Mitt Romney doing missionary work in France who can speak multiple languages. But the passion, sincerity and silent struggle of that story fits Mitt more than you’d think and the mantra from the book has become a rallying cry in his speeches. The author of Friday Night Lights penned a column why he’s supporting Mitt Romney:

After the president’s debate performance in Denver, this lifelong Democrat has made a difficult decision: he’s given up on Barack Obama. Even if his own wife doesn’t approve.

This is not a frivolous decision, nor is it an easy one. I grew up on the Upper West Side of New York, arguably the country’s nexus of liberalogy, where it wouldn’t have surprised me in the least as a child to discover that my parents, along with all the other attendees in some basement garret reminiscent of the French Resistance, had thrown eggs at Abbie Hoffman at a political get-together because he wasn’t liberal enough.

Mitt reveals himself

Romney finally did what he should have done all along instead of his balky cha cha with the old white men of the conservative Republican wing: he acted as the moderate he is, for the first time running as himself, not against himself, embracing his record as governor of Massachusetts.

Obama the divider

I admit that as I get older, on the cusp of 58, I am moving more to the center or even tweaking right, or at least not tied to any ideology. Those making more than $250,000 should pay more taxes, and that does include me. But I also am tired of Obama’s constant demonization, of those he spits out as “millionaires and billionaires,” as pariahs. Romney’s comments at a fundraiser were stupid, but 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income taxes. Yes, a majority are poor and seniors. But millions do not pay such taxes with incomes of more than $50,000, and whether it’s as little as $10, every American should contribute both as a patriotic obligation and skin in the game. This is our country, not our country club.

Liberal intolerance

The tipping point toward a candidate is perhaps the greatest act of individuality in our unique democracy, although in this day and age of unprecedented political divide, telling somebody who you are voting for has no upside: There is no respect for your right as a citizen, but outright hatred from those who do not agree with you. I fear that I will lose friends, some of whom I hold inside my heart. Of course, I will also lose friends I really don’t like anyway.

Romney makes the sale

At the debate, Romney did not simply act like he wanted to be president. He wants to be president. He showed vigor, and enthusiasm, and excitement, a man who wants to lead. It may all be ephemeral, because most of politics is ephemeral, a cynical means to the end of getting elected. But he also revealed compassion that, during the entirety of this absurdly long march, had never been in evidence before. He recognized the needs of the poor. He recognized the need for regulation.

Foreign policy failure

But I don’t see Obama spending much time running the country, unless you count his recent appearance on The View, where he was far more animated and charming than during the debate. He has said nary a word about the debacle in Benghazi in Libya where ambassador Chris Stevens was killed amidst all sort of questions over adequate security. While getting a tongue bath from Whoopi, he rejected meeting with Middle East leaders during the UN General Assembly, so essential in dealing with a region where personal relationships make a profound difference. As Syria burns more fiercely than ever, now enveloping Turkey with its own use of military force, he purposely stays as far away from it as he can, presumably until after the election if at all.

Obama not up to the job

[I]n the debate, more than 70 million were watching. It was a time for Obama to shine, not to mail in the same message, smooth and eloquent as always, but no longer connecting with an electorate that has been there done that (even the liberals will admit it behind the locked door of the bathroom after searching for bugs). I am not sure Obama really wants to be president in any practical way. He hates the rolling up of sleeves and schmoozing that is politics. He is no longer the chosen one. He is just too cool for school in a country desperate for the infectiousness of rejuvenation. Romney has it.Our president no longer does.

3 Comments

  1. No Tribe
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    In the same boat. Though I voted for Obama in ’08, I will not again, but instead cancel out my wife’s Obama vote.

  2. acasilaco
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    We have heard about many people who voted for Pres. Obama last time, but will be voting against him this time. I don’t think I have heard of anyone going in the other direction; I know of, and have heard of, not a single McCain voter who now plans to vote for Pres. Obama. I’m sure such people exist, but I would guess they are outnumbered at least 100-to-1 by those switching against Obama. What do you all think?

  3. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    acasilaco: agreed.

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