I haven't decided on a candidate for 08 yet, but if Mitt Romney continues making moves like these, he will quickly win my support.
The candidates for President already have a platform, and as such they already have a position of influence. The way they use that position of influence says a lot about them--will they simply use it as a tool to get into the presidency, or do they care enough about the causes they support to use their platforms to do something for them? Romney's "surge of support" idea for the troops is a good one, but it doesn't go far enough. While he's devoted some web space to linking to organizations that support the troops, why not actually set up a "one-stop donation page" for those organizations as well? Real-estate on the web is cheap, and I doubt such a move would take dollars from his campaign. If nothing else, it would turn his website into something more than a campaign plank and make it useful for people to get involved in moving forward the platform he is espousing.
This sort of strategy seems risky for a Presidential candidate, as it may be relegated to the dustbin of "good ideas that never caught on." Such a failure could be fodder for opponents.
But in a campaign that is now approaching a year old, I'm a little sick of hearing everyone talk. Seeing a presidential candidate actually try to do something with his influence is, if nothing else, refreshing.
Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.