By Andrew C. McCarthy, OCTOBER 6, 2012
Do you think Barack Obama knows who Ernie Banks is? Count me a skeptic. The purported White Sox fanatic couldn’t name a single player for the home team on the South Side, so I doubt he knows Wrigley Field from his beloved “Cominskey Field.” But even if the president was never gripped by the Cub slugger’s infectious calling card — “Let’s play two today!” — he has now heard the Mitt Romney version: “It’s fun, isn’t it?”
That’s how the GOP nominee bucked up a befuddled Jim Lehrer during Wednesday night’s ground-shifting debate. It was only 20 minutes in, but the moderator was fretting over the clock while the president fretted over Romney. Already, the challenger had the incumbent reminding 70 million viewers of “Bad Bad Leroy Brown,” the last Chicago legend in his own mind to emerge from a decisive brawl looking like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone.
Whatever you may think of the former Massachusetts governor’s politics, there should never have been any hesitation about Romney the man. This is a bright, self-made man, one whose public and private philanthropy, which puts most of us to shame, should be legendary. It is not. That’s because his good works weren’t done to burnish his political credentials and his decency discourages their exploitation toward that end. You don’t have to agree with Romney on everything to see that he is a mensch. He obviously loves the America that is — the land of opportunity that has rewarded his work ethic. Like most of us, he wants that America preserved, not “fundamentally transformed.”