I’ve talked recently about the many reasons to oppose Barack Obama and to remind people why the Republican nominee whoever he is should be supported. The time has now come to examine each of the remaining candidates to see what they would bring to the table. I will examine the pros and cons of each candidate one per day. Let’s start with the current Frontrunner:
Mitt Romney Businessman Former Governor of Massachusetts
The Case for:
1. Business Experience: Mitt Romney has years of both experience in the private sector as a businessman and as a successful organizer for big events (IE: Salt Lake City) at a time when the economy is THE issue in election 2012.
2. Competence: Mitt Romney is not only an experienced business man he has been successful building several enterprises over a period of year
3. Executive Experience: As the governor of a state Romney brings a level of executive experience that his opponents simply do not have.
4. Personal: There has not been even the merest smidgen of personal scandal in Romney. His wife and family are a powerful asset.
5. Learning curve: This is Romney’s second run for president as has considerably improved his campaigning skills, that ability to learn and adapt bodes well in a tough campaign.
6. Establishment: With the party establishment behind him he has the best possible organization and apparatus behind him in each state.
7. Demeanor:& Romney projects calm confidence, and his appearance is exactly what you would want in a president.
The Case Against:
1. Romneycare: The number one issue to many conservatives and the issue that drove GOP success was opposition to Obamacare. Romney’s healthcare plan in Massachusetts is the base on which Obamacare is built and no amount of spin will change it.
2. Flip Flops: Mitt Romney knows there are two sides to every story because he has been on both sides, from Abortion to Reagan Romney has been on both sides on many issues and not just any issues, issues that drive voters.
3. Wall Street: Wall street is the big bugaboo that the left intents to play in 2012 and Romney symbolizes it better than anyone.
4. Establishment: Romney symbolizes the GOP establishment that had to be dragged screaming and kicking to cuts. The base which drove the 2010 election just doesn’t plain trust him.
5. Religion: The left will pound the Mormon religion on its history and on opposition on Gay Marriage in California and unlike a different candidate those attacks are unlikely to move conservatives toward him (see 1,2,4)
6. Coattails: Imagine you are congressman X who is running on the GOP ticket on opposition to Obamacare, what do you say when your opponent brings up the man at the top of your ticket?
Exculpatory evidence: Romney can make the case that his moves were necessary to govern in Liberal Massachusetts. He has also demonstrated that he can pivot as situations chance and his successful air war against Newt indicates an organization that can make adjustments necessary to win elections. He can point to actual jobs created in a bad economy to counter the wall street charge and should be able to counter the attack on his religion as an attack ON religion in general (greatly helped by the Obama administration move on Obamacare vs Catholics this week). He can also point to the difference between a state and a national program when making the Romneycare vs Obamacare case.
Conclusion: The real problem for Mitt will be his base. Without an active and excited base his prospects are dim, will he convince them that he will govern as a conservative or not? If he fails to make that sale, Obama wins re-election. That is what makes him the weakest of the four GOP candidates the president could face in the fall. Elections are won by passion and Mitt just doesn’t generate it, but that’s his one ace, the last election was governed by passion and look what happened. If there was ever an election where competence has a chance against passion this is it.
My Biggest fear: If Mitt makes the sale to the American People (and he should be able to) but chooses to govern from the center do not be surprised to see a full-blown conservative revolt leading to an actual third-party in 2014.
My Hunch: I suspect it will take a victory in 2012 to reveal who the actual Mitt Romney is, and I think the real deal is probably someone I’d like. I really think he would be a better candidate if he just let that fellow out.
My advice to the Romney Campaign: At a Florida event on CSPAN Mrs. Romney talked about her husband’s decision to run again, she said she asked him one simple question: “Can you fix it?” When he said “Yes.” she was in. I and the crowd instantly believed her. She needs to be deployed on the campaign as much as possible, particularly to the conservative base, if anyone can win them over she can. She possesses the strength that is instantly appealing that her husband, for whatever reason, just doesn’t project.