By Mona Charen, JULY 13, 2012 –
Mitt Romney delivered one of the best speeches of the year at the NAACP meeting in Houston. It made me proud to watch him.
Romney was wise to accept the invitation, though, God knows, the temptation to decline must have been tremendous. The NAACP hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory over the past few years. In 2000, the organization ran dishonest and disgraceful television and radio ads suggesting that George W. Bush had been somehow indifferent to the horrible lynching of James Byrd in Texas. More recently, the group — theoretically dedicated to the best interests of black Americans — has joined teachers’ unions in attempting to block charter schools, and has condemned the Tea Party movement as racist.
Still, by attending the conference and describing the invitation as an “honor,” Romney demonstrated an important trait in a leader: a readiness to be respectful to everyone, particularly those with whom you disagree. Romney was graciousness itself when he told the group: