Mitt Romney Errs by Overloading His Veterans Committee With Politicians
Around the State
One of the basic tenets of American conservatism is that there are more important aspects to life than politics and government.
Family, faith, working in the private sector -- all of these, a traditional conservative would argue, are more important to the development of society than the pursuit of elected office.
It’s a point increasingly lost by the national Republican leadership as it continues to focus on the presidential election in November.
Last week, Mitt Romney unveiled his national outreach team in his attempt to win the votes of America’s veterans. This arm of Romney’s campaign will be led by two veterans of World War II who are more than familiar to Republican voters -- former President George H.W. Bush and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole -- and chaired by U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and three former secretaries of Veterans Affairs.
There are almost 20 national co-chairmen of Veterans and Military Families for Romney drawn from the ranks of members of Congress -- including Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller and U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney. The final piece of the organization is its National Board with 17 members of which eight have held prominent political office.
Romney’s team is overloaded with politicians who have served in the military and short on veterans who went into the private sector after serving their country. It’s disappointing -- especially from a candidate who points to his business record as he attempts to rally voters by saying he will turn around the economy.
Scott, to his credit, promptly crossed his name off the list and sent Prendergast back to the drawing board. With Prendergast, a former Army colonel who had come up short in his bid to topple U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., in the 2010 election cycle, having just assumed his position after a short and not particularly memorable stint as Scott’s chief of staff, more than a few wags thought he was trying to get back into the governor’s good graces.
Conservatives -- at both the national and the state level -- should know better. The service of veterans should be honored more than the service of politicians. With the private sector continuing to struggle, here’s hoping Romney takes a page from Scott’s playbook and changes his current organization to include a few more veterans with business experience.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com or at (850) 727-0859.