…getting more likeable every day. Mary Katherine Ham at Hot Air:
I know many conservatives bristle at the notion of “likeability” or personal “favorability” as an important campaign metric, dismissing it as a shallow consideration not worthy of news coverage.
But, the fact is, it does matter. It is not, on its own, a qualification for office, but we are human beings and we make many decisions based on whether we like or dislike others. If you don’t think it’s a boon to be likeable, imagine Ronald Reagan’s presidency with Harry Reid’s personality.
The likeability issue has probably received an outsized amount of coverage during President Obama’s four years in office because, as economic stats stalled and fell, Obama’s personal “favorability” didn’t, allowing media to crow about its preferred candidate’s appeal.
Go read it. She has a roundup of the polls showing Romney is at least at parity on likeability.
But her post got me thinking a bit. A lot of the change in public opinion dates from one event: the first public debate. That’s when the public at large got a chance to see that the straw Romney Obama had carefully constructed bore no resemblance to the real man.
At the start of this campaign – which feels like it began twenty decades or so ago at this point – I did not have a particularly favorable impression of Mitt Romney. As I started to actually see the man, read about the man and really began to understand who he really is, my opinion began to change. I find a lot to like. Of course he’s not perfect – but he is a decent and honorable man who genuinely loves this country. He’s a good manager. He loves his family and stands by his wife in sickness and in health. He helps other people with no expectation of repayment. He has a big heart – and doesn’t brag about that. I find a lot to like.
I also now realize that a fairly large amount of my initial negative opinion of Romney came from the media. I had read their reports and formed an opinion. But if it one thing we should have realized at this point, it is just how awful the majority of the media is. I wonder how many people were surprised to find that without the media filters, Romney is a lot better person than they were led to believe. Ask yourself how much of your initial opinions of Romney were due to media coverage – and be honest with yourself on this one.
My opinion of Romney began to change before the debate – but I am a political junkie. So I saw and understood a bit earlier. For the rest of the public that isn’t afflicted with this odd syndrome, the realization came later.
I still don’t agree totally with Romney, I doubt that I will ever fully agree with any candidate for any office. (Even if I was that candidate!) But I would crawl through shards of broken glass to vote for this man against Obama.
That he’s even better than just Not-Obama will make the journey easier to make.