Scott Farris. author of Almost President, a history of failed presidential candidates, told the Washington Post that Mitt Romney’s concession speech didn’t reflect the urgency of healing a divided nation: “While he congratulated Obama, he never really validated the result by saying ‘the people have spoken’ … Praying for the president is nice, but it is not the same as validating the election. [...] It was a speech that sounded as if he did not emerge from the election with much respect, let alone affection, for the president. He sounded as if he really expected to win and was immensely disappointed in the result — even more so than usual.”
Oh well, the feeling is mutual.
Mary Alice Williams at Salon agrees:
[C]ontrast Romney’s defeat speech to that of John McCain, in 2008. Whatever you think of McCain, he didn’t sit around stewing forever before getting on the horn with his opponent. And when he stood before his supporters, he shushed the members of his constituency who tried to boo their new president, and instead offered Obama his “respect for his ability and perseverance” in “inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president.” McCain said he “admired” Obama and “applauded” him, and he ended by saying, “I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Sen. Obama.”
Romney, on the other hand, merely managed to grunt out that the Obama campaign “deserves congratulations” and “I wish all of them well.” He then moped that “I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader,” and ominously declared that “Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.” It seemed as tired and halfhearted as a little league player muttering, “Good game. Good game. Good game,” to the winning team before heading to the showers.
He wanted it to be “different,” and he’s praying for you, America. That is not “gracious.” What it is instead is a pretty typical Romney, a man who would arrogantly refuse to entertain the notion of defeat and then grind in his heels and refuse to accept it for as long as possible. A man who would pout that his wife would have made a kickass first lady, who thanks men for their tireless work and “wives” for picking up the slack. That was your glimpse, Tuesday night, of what your President Romney would have looked like. And maybe it doesn’t sound gracious to say so, but thank God that’s the last look we’ll have.