“We have very fundamental and sound principles that guide both the president and me. He and I, of course, both feel the pressures and tensions of a close contest. It would be easy to let a healthy competition give way to the personal and the petty. But fortunately we don’t carry the burden of disliking one another.
Barack has had some very fine and gracious moments. Don’t tell anyone I said so, but our 44th president has many gifts, and a beautiful family that would make any man proud.
In our country, you can oppose someone in politics and make a confident case against their policies without any ill will. And that’s how it is for me: there’s more to life than politics. […]
At the Archdiocese of New York, you show this in the work you do, in causes that run deeper than allegiance to party or any contest at the moment. No matter which way the winds are blowing… you answer with calm and willing hearts in service to the poor and care for the sick, in defense of the rights of conscience and in solidarity with the innocent child waiting to be born. You strive to bring God’s love into every life.
I don’t presume to have all your support… and I’m certainly not going ask for it. But you can be certain that in the great causes of compassion that you come together to embrace, I stand proudly with you as an ally and friend.”
From Mitt Romney’s speech at the famous Al Smith dinner, given around this time four years ago.
So much to like here. Though I didn’t vote for Mitt in the election — and wrote here and there why I decided not to — I admire the guy and, four years later, think he would have made a very fine president. I especially like how much of a gentleman he is — that he consistently brings value to the communities and organizations he’s led while never succumbing to pressure to take the sleazy way out. When a challenge arises, answer with a calm and willing heart.
You can watch the (very funny) 2012 Al Smith dinner below.
- Jefferson’s ten rules
- JFK’s speech on leading through “the new frontier”
- Booker T. Washington talks about how great men sacrifice for others