Dear Mr. Romney,
I have been a close follower of yours for the past 8 or so years and am grieving over the fact that America will never have the opportunity for you to be our president. You would have been great. You were exactly the right candidate for the time, but suffered the misfortune of having to go against a once-in-a-generation figurehead with great branding and an even better “get out the vote” effort.
While I am deeply saddened by this result, I wanted to say that even having never met you personally, you have touched my life in several ways, including:
1) Your example of respectfulness, regardless of the circumstance – Be it in promptly pulling out of the 2008 race when it was clear Sen. McCain was going to be the victor, always being gracious in victory in the 2012 primaries, or giving an (acknowledged even by the left) exceptionally classy concession speech amidst such bitter disappointment, examples of such class in all circumstances are exceedingly rare today. Thank you for showing that good leaders remain humble in the best of times and gracious in the worst of times,
2) Your Faith in America speech – Simply put, the best American political speech since Reagan. Your incredible love of country shines through every word. I’ve listened to it many times and still get goosebumps from the closing story.
3) Your commitment to family – The fact that you prioritize family so highly while having such a successful business career, being a governor, etc. challenges me to do the same. I am indebted to you for your shining example.
4) Your spiritual wisdom – Even though we do not share the same theology, it is clear that you possess great spiritual wisdom that any religious person could benefit from. I’m especially thinking of this excerpt from your commencement speech at Liberty University (which, sadly for America, is more relevant than ever):
“What we have, what we wish we had – ambitions fulfilled, ambitions disappointed … investments won, investments lost … elections won, elections lost – these things may occupy our attention, but they do not define us. And each of them is subject to the vagaries and serendipities of life. Our relationship with our Maker, however, depends on none of this. It is entirely in our control, for He is always at the door, and knocks for us. Our worldly successes cannot be guaranteed, but our ability to achieve spiritual success is entirely up to us, thanks to the grace of God. The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best but never your all, reserving the ultimate hope for the only one who can grant it.”
As it happens, on Election Day, my wife and I were in the Catholic community of Ave Maria, FL. Before leaving town, we stepped inside their church and prayed about the election. As we were leaving, my wife noted the irony of “Protestants, praying in a Catholic church, for a Mormon to win”. Only in America.
While that request was unfulfilled, I pray now that your example continues to be an inspiration to myself and my fellow Americans. If we could all live with the graciousness, wisdom, and love of country and family that you have demonstrated, America would be an immeasurably better place.