Mitt Romney's Book Sets Stage for 2012 White House Run

The title of Mitt Romney's new book, "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness," is a not-so-subtle jab at the visits President Obama made overseas when he first took office, derided by the Right as the "American Apology Tour."

Romney's book as a whole, however, may best be remembered not for the contrasts it offers with the incumbent president but for the contrasts it presents with "Going Rogue," the best-selling memoir of Sarah Palin, a potential Romney rival for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Where Palin's book is a mix of score settling and juicy anecdotes, Romney's book consists of a 64-point plan for strengthening the United States and countless references to what he has been reading. Palin's book titillated audiences with her take on her husband without his shirt on ("Dang, I thought. Divorce Todd? Have you seen Todd?").

Romney's readers, by contrast, will have to make do with his take on the decline of the Ottoman Empire and other great powers (easy money and a lack of innovation did them in, in case you were wondering).

This is not to say that Romney's book is free of anecdotes.

In between his policy prescriptions and reflections on world history, the former Massachusetts governor shares his distaste for weeding, his displeasure with one of his son's teachers, and the discomfort of his presidential campaign aides when he would discuss the rate of out-of-wedlock births among African Americans.

The book's core, however, are his proposals on everything from national security to the economy, from health care to energy and from entitlements to education.

The policy prescriptions laid out in the book are too many to recount in full. But the broad strokes are a hard line on foreign policy coupled with a bit more ideological flexibility on the domestic front.

The overarching concept which animates Romney's book is the idea the United States must remain strong for the world to remain free.

Drawing on his years as a management consultant, Romney warns that the United States must remain the world's leading economic and military power or else global leadership will fall to the Chinese, the Russians, or the Jihadists -- each of which is described by Romney as pursuing an authoritarian vision for world domination.

Obama comes under extended criticism for seeing himself as "the world's great bridge builder and synthesizer." Rather than talk of the world's "common interests" as Obama is fond of doing, Romney thinks it is more useful to focus on the prevalence of evil and to stand by traditional allies.

"I submit that it is vital to believe in evil -- it is neither confused nor deterred by vacuous introspection," writes Romney.

On the domestic front, Romney articulates a conservative vision while managing to show a measure of independence from the Hard Right.

Although anti-tax activists typically oppose revenue raisers of any kind, even if they are intended as a replacement for other taxes, Romney's book flirts with the idea of a new tax on gas or carbon which would be paired with a reduction in the payroll tax. Romney's book does not actually embrace a "tax swap" but he nevertheless describes it as currently being the best game-changing strategy for achieving energy security.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...