Newt’s right: It IS pious baloney, this whole Romney thing..
Not so much, though, as Newt asserted, about Mitt’s alleged Public Spiritedness (Newt, remember, poked holes in Romney’s “Citizen Businessman” meme by pointing out that Mitt has been a chronic –and mostly chronically losing— campaigner for twenty years, after these losing attempts in which he’d simply slink back into his corporate duds, and disabuse himself of electoral envy for another season). Rather, the “baloney” is that Mitt is “electable”. Out of all the candidates, Mitt is the least electable, and has a proven record of losing almost all of the campaigns he’s run, or of winning them barely– like last Tuesday’s Iowa Caucuses.
Mitt Romney, in only the narrowest definition of the term, “won” the Iowa Caucuses. In fact, there are serious allegations that the votes were miscounted, and 20 to 30 votes that went to Romney should have gone to Santorum. But, even in this stunning, awe-inspiring victory, Mitt received less votes in both percentage terms and actual votes than any Republican in modern times, going back to 1980. And, here are some interesting tid-bits:
Mitt actually received a couple dozen fewer votes (if the votes are properly counted) this time ’round than he did in 2008. He received 25 percent of the vote that year– but Mike Huckabee received 34% in his winning bid.
Mitt’s performance, had it taken place in 2000, would only been good enough for third place, behind Steve Forbes (31%) and barely in front of Alan Keyes (14%). That year, there really WAS a front-runner: George W. Bush, who received 41% of the vote, and had the Republican Party Base firmly behind him.
If the results are stacked up against those of 1988, Romney would have once again come in third place, behind both Bob Dole (26%) and Pat Robertson (25%). Likewise, in 1980, Romney’s pathetic showing would have garnered yet another third-place showing behind George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. It is far more typical for a winner in Iowa to come away with between 30 and 40 percent of the vote, rather than to limp away with a paltry 23%.
In short, there is no Romney Juggernaut. If he’s the frontrunner, it’s only by virtue of his hair sticking out more than his nearest competitor.
Historical context is always important when making the sort of charges that Newt Gingrich made in Sunday’s New Hampshire debate. As fate would have it, though, Newt Gingrich is an historian. And, that was his point: Romney continues to paint himself as some sort of virtuous Citizen Candidate, only emerging from the paneled boardrooms in this, the Nation’s Moment of Crisis– when, in fact, Mitt Romney has been a carrier of the Electoral Pathogen for over twenty years, and it has metastasized into a full-blown case of Potomac Fever.
As we all know, he ran and won for the GOP Senatorial Nomination in 1994 by besting a severely damaged opponent, and then losing to Teddy Kennedy. Now, do we remember 1994? Of course we do: That was the year that the Democrat Party was decimated, and the year Harris Wofford, the ancient Pennsylvania Democrat dinosaur went down in flames to Rick Santorum. But, Teddy Kennedy beat Mitt Romney by a whopping 17%. Likewise, of course, we know what a horrible year for Republicans 2006 was: Mitt knew it too, so he “retired” from politics, paving the way for Democrat Deval Patrick to pick up Romney’s vacated seat, winning the contest over Kerry Haley by some billion percentage points.
Electorally speaking: Mitt Romney is NOT electable, and Newt Gingrich finally brought it up. And, the former governor needs to be hammered on this time and time and time again: He can’t close the deal with the electorate. Some say that the Achilles’ Heal of the Romney Campaign is “Romneycare”. It ought to be, but it isn’t. The real, unspoken downfall of the Mittster’s campaign is that, in stark contrast to the media narrative, Governor Romney is… well,.. a loser. Time after time, and in historical settings.
Oh, sure, the “polls” say he’s the one that can beat Obama. But, that’s in a theoretical campaign that hasn’t started yet. You know, the sort of a campaign that doesn’t feature actual issues, or actual opposition research, or vicious democrat party tactics, or a thoroughly corrupted left-wing news media. As soon as it becomes a real campaign, though, with Barack Obama as his opponent with his billion-dollar machine, Mitt Romeny will conform to type: A Massachusetts Moderate who comes off as inauthentic social-climbing technocrat.
…and, in a word: “unelectable”.
For God’s Sake, South Carolina, wake up from your nap before you end up giving us all a Romney Nightmare.