The GOP field, pros and cons today: Mitt Romney

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The GOP field, pros and cons today: Mitt Romney

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.

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.