An interview Chris Wallace had with Mitt and Ann Romney at their New Hampshire home inspired this piece. Below is a portion of the transcript.
WALLACE: Everything in the house is a family affair. They designed the island in the kitchen with a hole in it, so the grand children can join in.
ANN ROMNEY: There are sometimes as many six of them in there at one time, and they can work as well and make sandwiches or do whatever they can. And I stand here and kind of the orchestra leader.
WALLACE: You’re kind of a short order cook, aren’t you?
M. ROMNEY: Look at this — she had to make two different types of batter.
WALLACE: Now, what do your grand kids call you?
M. ROMNEY: They call me papa. They call me papa.
WALLACE: And Mrs. Romney?
M. ROMNEY: It’s Mamie. For a while, for a blessed while, we were Ike and Mamie.
A. ROMNEY: It’s a joke.
M. ROMNEY: You know, Ike and Mamie.
A good joke needs to resemble truth or it’s not funny. Mitt and Ann Romney are comparable to Ike and Mamie. This is why all the vicious attacks by the Obama campaign will be a huge failure. As a small toddler, when Ike ran for office, the only memory for me is the “I Like Ike” posters. Today “I like Mitt” posters would also work perfectly.
There are other ways that Mitt and Ike are similar. Some of Ike’s achievements can be read here. One thing that Ike has never received credit for is his support of civil rights. As soon as he was sworn into office he removed all of the Jim Crow segregation rules in Washington DC that Woodrow Wilson had created. Harry Truman gets all the credit for signing the bill that removed segregation in the US armed services, but Ike is the one who actually carried out the implementation. When a mob tried to keep the US Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision from being implemented, Ike ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army to Little Rock and federalized the entire 10,000 member Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of the hands of Democrat Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower supported and signed the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts
Both Ike and Mitt are mission oriented leaders instead of movement conservatives ideologues. They both believe in the efficiency of the private sector in allocating resources and promoting economic growth. Minimal taxation is desirable so as not to stifle individual initiative or put undue pressure on financial markets. They both believe in a fiscal policy that restrains federal spending and not using “quantitative easing” monetary policy as a stimulus, and the monetary authorities at the Federal Reserve shared Ike’s view.
The Eisenhower presidency provides a compelling counterexample to the political business cycle hypothesis that presidents will manipulate the economy to enhance their re-election prospects. While Eisenhower engaged in highly contractionary fiscal policies upon entering office, he did not engage in significantly expansionary policies before the 1956 and 1960 presidential elections. Mitt will be just like Ike in this respect.
President Eisenhower vetoed 181 bills, of which 73 were regular vetoes and 108 were pocket vetoes. Two were overridden. Ike vetoed a bill to amend the Agricultural Act of 1949, with respect to price supports for basic commodities like milk, and other purposes. He also vetoed a defense spending bill to provide a method for regulating and fixing wage rates for employees of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Naval Shipyard. Mitt Romney will be just like Ike with respect to vetoing spending bills.
Much has changed over the past sixty years (for the worse), in our federal government, and the mountain is a steep one to climb over to get back to fiscal sanity. One important difference between Mitt and Ike is that Vice President Paul Ryan shares Mitt Romney’s conservative fiscal policy views unlike Ike’s Vice President, Richard Nixon. Our nation can do better than it has these past four years. We WILL do better.