Candidates Cannot Hide

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By CONOR FUCCI

COLUMNIST

Since the start of the 2012 election cycle, Mitt Romney has been plagued by issues of personal privacy. When a person decides that he or she wants to be the president of the United States, there are some “rights” that will have to be surrendered; it just so happens that privacy is one of them. During primary season, many of the potential Republican presidential candidates struggled to hide their personal demons that eventually crippled or ended their campaigns altogether.

One strong example is that of Herman Cain. For a while, Cain was faring rather well in his campaign, but that all changed when several charges of sexual harassment came to light that essentially destroyed his presidential hopes.
It has become tradition when grooming someone for a presidential campaign that the respective party will attempt to bury as much incendiary personal background as possible. Even after this, many candidates manage to find themselves in hot water. Mitt Romney was in good shape until it was clear he was the Republican nominee. The proverbial poop hit the fan when Romney decided he was not going to release his tax return information. This allowed Democrats to speculate about what was going on behind this billionaire’s closed doors.
Senator Harry Reid famously claimed that there had been several years that Romney had not paid taxes at all; Romney could not effectively parry this statement due to his failure to release his tax returns. Just recently, Romney released several of his tax returns hoping to quell this speculation. I feel that this is too little, too late. Romney’s desire for personal privacy very well may cost him in the upcoming general election.
To make matters worse, at a Romney fundraising event in May, Romney was filmed stating, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government.”
A tape was released anonymously, and the fallout was almost instantaneous. President Obama and other Democrats pounced, claiming that Romney was only willing to lead half the nation, and that is not what the job description entails. Romney later weakly attempted to clarify his remarks.
In the end, it is important to remember the personal sacrifices that are necessary when someone becomes the president of the United States. Privacy for candidates is a thing of the past; there is no way to hide sensitive details of one’s life from the modern media. Candidates should accept this fact early on in the campaign and come clean so the people have a good idea for whom they are voting.