Rep. Jason Chaffetz thinks Mitt Romney will run again. New Hampshire polling has him well ahead of the rest of the field. What might be the dynamics for the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP hopeful this time around?
He’s been vetted, and nothing of importance was found; a politician free from an accumulation of dirt. (Hey; the dog loved being up there.) The equilibrium of the 2012 campaign was bulldozed early, with Romney effectively defined in advance of being willing or able to bring “fight back” money to the table. He was likely the recipient of bad advice from a national campaign rookie. It seemed like months of battering with little response. But does anyone think Romney’s not smart enough to learn from mistakes?
Last time around there was only one primary fight, among the Republicans. This time around there will be two, the question being which one will last the longest and spill the most blood. Hillary lost Iowa last time around, and she could again. If Hillary opts out based on the quality of her recent performance and the critiques of same, we are nearly guaranteed a Democratic candidate committed to Obama’s third term. If Ed Klein, author of Blood Feud, is to be believed, the Obama administration bigwigs want to see Hillary go down for the count. Right now, the Progressive wing of the party controls the agenda, the organization and the money. Hillary’s likely challenge will come from her left. Will eight years of the Progressive agenda’s performance and corruption be enough to motivate change in the form of a landslide? Contextual polling is only telling in some contexts. The Right Track / Wrong Track numbers were about where they are now prior to Obama’s reelection.
The “Middle”, the independents who really are independent, are still there and you simply have to ask yourself, ideology aside, who would be highly acceptable to them? Who would it be “easy” to vote for? Rand Paul? Rand Paul satisfies the “let’s lash out” wing of the party (I attend that party on occasion out of sheer frustration), but his electability in a national campaign is a spectrum of grey.
Based on what we’ve seen – the polls and the “late to the game” criticism in the main stream media – the sheer weight of disappointment argues against election of another Progressive president. Obama supporters and surrogates are slowly being forced to accept what they were hell-bent on denying: that Obama is incompetent, disengaged, arrogant and a classic narcissist. Well, they haven’t gone that far but they have taken a hit from the gateway drug: incompetence. Republicans will paint a Progressive candidate with the Obama brush at every turn.
Too late in the last campaign we began to find out that Romney walks his talk, especially within the context of his faith. Some of the testimonials were powerful. No one knew, not even in Massachusetts. We discovered that Romney was a genuinely good man: charitable, smart, officer of his church, a wife with tremendous class and grace, beautiful family; hard to imagine how he made space for everything. Based on our recent experience with presidential performance, if America is faced with the opportunity to elect a president with no real baggage who is a genuinely good man, smart, and a proven manager, what are Romney’s odds?
The Left isn’t the only guilty party when it comes to circular argument. The argument is made on the Right that Moderates can’t win. They can’t, when significant portions of the Right’s dependable base opt out, wave at the opposition, and spend Election Day on the couch. Does past behavior predict that will they do it again? The theories and analysis of the loss in 2012 are all over the map, however; e.g., Conservative Christians stayed home because they think Mormons are a cult. Hard core Conservatives believed Romney was not Conservative enough. Conservative enough compared to what? Barack Obama?
The absence of action is action enough. Are Republicans of all stripes not desperate enough? Does Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton satisfy what those folks see as absolute necessities for change? Will those ladies adopt a “more Conservative” agenda than Romney would? Hell, no. It’s Obama’s third term in a skirt (or maybe a pants suit). Progressives can’t resist the opportunity to make history, after all. “It doesn’t have to make sense, it’s our policy.”
We’ve had a pure politician with no management skills. Will a politician with a background as a manager resonate? Romney, as a manager, was able to evaluate symptoms on the ground and convert it to policy at the top. The Olympics story is proof enough. It’s not an easy trick to turn.
“Two-time loser!” The third shot almost never happens. (My research assistant is on vacation (LOL) so I can’t be sure that’s a fact – with a special nod, of course, to Harold Stassen and his nine attempts at presidential campaigns, complete with a clown car.)
Who’s on the Romney team? If we see the same team as we saw last time, reduce the odds and make it a drama-filled tossup. Is Romney smart enough to figure out that the entrenched Republican consultant class hasn’t won a big one in quite some time?
Ann Romney fights health issues; can she be a force? Is she the perfect counterpoint to what we’ve had? Yes! Can she do it, and how much can she do? No one knows.
Romney is not Conservative enough! I agree; but then again, I’m having a hard time coming up with anyone I agree with 100%. Many may have the same problem. To change direction you must first stop the momentum – a matter of political physics.
If Hillary is the nominee, Wall Street is in a bind. They know Romney but they’ve committed their avarice to Hillary. The return on investment with Hillary is significant and proven. They don’t know if Romney can be bought; they probably doubt it.
And then: “Women!” Romney has to be able to speak to women but he can’t move all women. Progressive women and young single women are likely off the table. Suburban women, women with families, women concerned about economic opportunity – they’re on the table, despite the Potemkin Village of the contraception controversy. Who speaks to them?
What about the minorities? If the Republican ticket is absent a woman or a minority it’s a mistake of massive proportion. Lots of choices: Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, etc. The hard fact is you don’t need a majority of the minority vote; you just need cut into the Democrats’ recent majorities. The Obama team has made race and gender as much of an election factor as regions and states.
Open thread sites engaged the Romney question this week with a predictable lack of cohesion and all the same repetitive criticisms we’ve heard before. The bottom line, however, is that we’ve been manipulated and lied to by the Progressive Left in the person of President Obama. The Progressive Left is the only source of criticism regarding Romney’s character, much of it made up out of whole cloth.
There are only two questions. Will Romney run, and does America thirst for a man of character and integrity. I know I do!