Editor: The Republicans believed that it was important to humanize their presidential candidate, who has a somewhat chilly demeanor — and so they did. After the convention we know that his wife loves him a lot and he loved his mother a lot — and he even likes women a lot — and believes we are a promising lot.

Perhaps it was necessary for the RNC to point to these features of his being — I’m sure they’re authentic — but are they sufficient to qualify him for the most challenging job in the world? I don’t want to be dismissive but I would say that these “loves” don’t add anything to the picture for those of us who do not share his political values — his attitudes toward government and business, women’s rights and public responsibilities in general.

It’s a candidate’s public values that we must consider. We have had elected officials whose personal lives and values have been less than pristine, but who have displayed their commitment to and stewardship of the public good. They have created safety nets for the people who need them and set educational and health care standards that improve our lives. They have been honest and wise in meeting the challenges of defining our role in the world.

We have in President Obama the best of both worlds — a man whose personal and public values are the gold standard.  I believe that we need him to lead us in the next four years — because he will lead us forward.

I believe that notwithstanding Mr. Romney’s newly displayed affection for his wife and mother, he will lead us into a retreat — disdaining government and replacing it with a business plan, protecting the wealthiest rather than those who need a boost. For me the choice is an easy one.

Times-Tribune Publication Date: September 2, 2012

Necessary but not sufficient