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A dear friend sent me this awkward/sad video of Mitt Romney‘s interaction with a gay war veteran last year:

Mitt Romney Meets Gay War Veteran

Two things struck me – the gay veteran is just beautiful and his emotional appeal for equal rights (no matter who you love) rings very true for me. The second is, look into Mitt’s eyes when he’s listening to the veteran. I genuinely believe he looks heart broken and so compassionate, it doesn’t feel like awkwardness to me. I think he really feels for the veteran and is heart broken by what he’s about to have to say to tow the party line. The awkwardness comes when he speaks.

From what I hear, Mitt was a very moderate governor who believed in gay and abortion rights and has now flip flopped to appease all the hard conservative right that seems to have become the base of his party. I felt heart broken for both of them.  And a little wistful.  For authentic leadership.

You see, to my way of thinking, any leader (no matter what their political orientation) MUST display authenticity thereby demonstrating his trusworthiness.  Take Chris Christie for example.  Now I’m a democrat but I would vote for this guy hands down for president (except if he was running against Hil-girl) because he is just so damn authentic and committed to making the politics of his state work (read: willing to compromise his own principles to achieve common goals).  I was completely sold on Christie after I saw him on the Oprah show, just out of who he was being.  There is something about his balls out, go with my gut manner that tells me he has nothing to hide and is not trying to manipulate anyone or anything.  Even thought I don’t agree with some of his principles and policies, I would vote for him because I can trust him.  Trust him to be his word and to make compromises for the common good.

Poor Mitt Romney, he looks so sad for the veteran.