There are myriad differences between the two men vying for electorate favor this Presidential election year.
There are the obvious differences in ideology, and in their positions on, and their proposals for the important issues of the day. But there are also stark differences in the men themselves.
Mitt Romney is a product of privilege, born into wealth, and one of the richest Presidential candidates ever--and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We've had super rich Presidential candidates before. John Kerry and John Kennedy immediately come to mind. Wealth, in itself, should not be a factor in determining the worth of a candidate.
But Kerry and Kennedy were able to do something that Mitt Romney apparently can not do--and that is to put himself in the shoes of Mr. and Mrs. average American. There are people of wealth who can identify with those who struggle through everyday life, and there are those people who can not.
Interest on college student loans is a hot topic these days, and here Romney once again puts on display his inability to understand the mindset of those affected by a problem or a situation. He, quite simply, lacks the God-given imagination to put himself in the position of students--and families--who are of modest means.
Come July 1, the interest on college student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. This at a time when college tuition nationwide is skyrocketing. This at a time when helpful, part-time jobs are in short supply.
At the outset of his Presidential campaign, Romney was unsympathetic. Then, giving in to criticism for lack of concern, he gave lukewarm endorsement of the plan to keep student loan interest rates as is for the time being. And now, political pressure has forced him to say a more enthusiastic yes to the idea. But his comments and answers to questions make it obvious that he still doesn't get it.
Meanwhile, President Obama does get it. He has shown throughout his Presidency that he can imagine how others might feel--whatever the problem; whatever the situation.
And when it comes to student loans, he can feel the pain; he can feel the pressure; he can feel the anxiety--for he has been there. His higher education came through hard work, and because of student loans.
Earlier this week in North Carolina, the President gave an overflow crowd of students an account of his firsthand experience with student loans. Most noteworthy among his comments is the fact that it was just eight years ago when he finally paid off his own student loans--only four years before becoming President!
Yes, this man seeking a second term does, indeed, get it. He can put himself in the shoes of the students and their families who face the double dilemma of higher tuition and higher interest rates on their student loans.
Republicans who still want to raise interest rates on student loans should seriously consider something else the President has said--"the cost of college education is an investment in America's future".