Both presidential contenders in the 2012 election, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, met in the Oval Office today. They enjoyed lunch and some small talk. Sadly for Romney, it was Obama who let him in the White House door while Romney got “attacked” on the drive up while riding in a simple black SUV.
A statement released by the White House said “They pledged to stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future.” Unfortunately for the majority of this country and for the stagnation of its partisan gridlock, these shared interests will likely focus on charity and disaster relief.
I believe that both men are in reality largely moderate. Obama certainly leans left and Romney certainly leans right. However, in the next 4 years time I certainly do not think that either man would run the country into the ground or even produce tremendously significant change in either direction.
But they both could greatly benefit the country if they worked together. For instance Romney could speak out against Grover Norquist. I believe the majority of Congressional Republicans would follow Romney and abandon Norquist, stripping him of his power and leaving him as the only loser in this battle. In a time with the Republican Party is “struggling for a new identity” Mitt Romney could help point it in a new direction, and gain valuable percentage points back when in comes to Women and Latinos. The risk to himself is probably minimal, and the reward could be cementing his legacy in a positive light. Sure by compromising with Obama on any variety of issues would help Obama, but Republicans need to stop only fighting him and focus on building and consolidating a wider base to maintain their House majority in 2014 and win back the presidency in 2016.
Congress has a dismal approval rating. After the election, Obama’s ratings are looking more positive. I think Republicans in Congress could utilize Romney as a moderate mediator between themselves and The President and not only gain prominence but gain favor in the public’s eye that will carrying over in the next 2-4 years. Do I think it’s likely? Probably not. But I do know one thing- Congressional Republicans can get organized. And if Romney is really as moderate as I think he is, and if Obama can sell it really well, I think progress could conceivably happen.