Behind closed doors

Last year we heard friends of ours were getting a divorce. Lauren and I were surprised because they looked like the happy couple over so many years. 

But as the old saying goes, it’s hard to tell what’s going on behind closed doors. 

This week we watched Mitt Romney behind closed doors. We learned what he believes, how he thinks and maybe most importantly, how he feels

When the sound bites aren’t being contrived, when the cameras are allegedly off, and when it’s the doors are closed, the truth comes out. Way out. 

I thought conservative David Brooks nailed it in his opinion piece for the New York Times. Go read the whole thing but here’s a taste:

This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?

It suggests that Romney doesn’t know much about the culture of America. Yes, the entitlement state has expanded, but America remains one of the hardest-working nations on earth. Americans work longer hours than just about anyone else. Americans believe in work more than almost any other people. Ninety-two percent say that hard work is the key to success, according to a 2009 Pew Research Survey.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to meet with President Obama behind closed doors. It was a room of 20-ish people from the tech community. It was a bunch of 1%-ers.

The group discussed a number of things that are important to a continued vibrant tech industry including things like immigration reform, computer science in our middle and high schools, importance of women entrepreneurs, patent reform, net neutrality, and more. 

And natually we had an opportunity to hear the President’s view of the challenges and vision for the country. 

He spent a significant amount of time about how he cares about the many folks in this country that live below poverty. How many children live below poverty. How our schools need to educate care of all of our children. The importance of healthcare for those that need it most. The importance for equal treatment regardless if you are gay or straight. And yes, the idea that when our country needs it, the richest people need to pay their fair share without loopholes. 

He talked about the need for the wealthy to do their part without reservation, without apology and without sugar coating it. It made sense. It was compelling. (I’ve written about my thoughts on taxing the wealthy so you know my position).

I wish someone snuck in a video camera and recorded the whole damn thing secretly. Then you would see the guy behind closed doors is the same one we see on TV.