Make no mistake, I am the annoying and unpredictable political Independent. I have friends who lean right, many who lean left. When my stepson had me take a test he’d heard about in his Government class he was stunned that my beliefs really do fall smack in the center of the populus circle – a target for some, alienated by all. I don’t even tell my husband who I’ve voted for until after I step out of the voter’s box.
Watching the rapid succession of Republican primary debates, I’ve paid close attention. When most recently the white haired former Speaker’s face colored with indignation at a certain CNN reporter’s question, I stayed seated on my couch. I did not rise to my feet with the South Carolinians. Maybe as a shyster’s daughter I am accustomed to listening to raucous self-righteousness in defense of the one under attack, the underdog who looks as if he is unjustly accused. Boldly my father would speak inside a court of law and successfully, artfully even, get quite a few clients off who were dead to rights.
But the truth is, like I suspect Newt Gingrich’s performance the other night, it was all an act. There is no honor in leaving your wife who has a debilitating disease.
Granted it was Newt’s second wife, so he did have some practice in learning how to leave a marriage. Okay, I get that. He met and fell in love with another woman. But if a man is to be judged by his word then shouldn’t Mitt Romney deserve a little credit for keeping his vows as a husband? His wife was diagnosed over a decade ago with coincidentally the very same disease. He did not cut and run. Instead he and his wife live with her disease like so many other couples do with various hardships whether it’s health or financially related.
So what is the fear in finding this part of Mitt Romney’s character admirable? Is it because he might be wearing ill fitting Mormon underwear beneath that well tailored suit? To be fair, Romney and his wife are not the only longstanding political couple who look as if they are still in love. There are unscripted moments when President Obama looks at the First Lady like he still cares deeply for her. If I am going to vote for a candidate for president who will keep his word, I am going to vote for either of these two men who have proven to at least one woman that he can do just that.