As the 2012 general contest for president begins to take shape, republicans are finally seeing the race clearly. None of our four candidates can beat Barack Obama.
Sure, there is a path to victory for Mitt Romney should the bottom fall out of the economy next October. There is a path to victory for Santorum should he convince the media to let go of social issues and allow him to discuss his “Made in America” jobs plan. But as it stands now, despite the fact that the White House is ours for the taking, Barack Obama will beat any of our guys. There are over 250 days until Election Day. A lot can change, but as it stands now – the GOP is dead in the water.
Ron Paul would be destroyed by Obama for obvious reasons. Think Barry Goldwater proportions. He is too far out on the fringe. Libertarianism belongs in our party. But unfettered libertarianism isn’t a legitimate winner in U.S. Politics.
Newt Gingrich is now more disliked by republicans and democrats than Sarah Palin. He record is terrible. His personal history is ugly. His leadership skills are lacking. He simply would have little chance of beating Obama where it counts in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, etc.
Rick Santorum is trying to stay away from social issues but the media is not going to allow it. The MSM is obsessed with right-wing social issues. They sit around and lament about viewpoints that really have no effect on job creation and GDP growth, as republicans try to move past such divisive issues. Because of that, combined with Santorum’s record as a Bush-big-government-conservative, he is going to have a hard time beating Obama. Although Santorum can be disciplined enough to stay on point, he has an uphill battle. Santorum is the best guy left, but Romney is spending $20 million this week to cut him off at the knees. Even if Santorum makes it out of this primary, it is hard to see how his angry persona will instill hope in the hearts of American voters.
Mitt Romney is a loser. The conservative base has been saying this since 2008. He has only won one race in his entire career and he had no chance of being re-elected. Americans would rather have a guy like Obama with whom they disagree than someone who they cannot truly know. Romney on the stump this week showed his awkwardness in discussing lakes and trees. He will never be the every man but he can’t seem to own who he is. Save the fringe “Occupy” kids, no one is going to hold success against him if he can own it. But he can’t seem to figure out how to “let Mitt be Mitt.” Romney isn’t a real person so he won’t get independents. Romney isn’t a conservative so the base won’t hit the ground for him. If republicans don’t like him, how can we expect non-republicans to like him? He really has no path to victory.
What amazes me is all of the talk we hear about a brokered convention saving the day. We should be assured if Romney, Santorum or Gingrich get a majority of delegates going into the Tampa convention, they will take the party down with them rather than allowing someone coming from outside in as the nominee. Honestly, if we allow a new person to circumvent our process, we probably deserve that. Let’s face it, the American people aren’t going to like the fact that they endured twenty debates and over fifty races only to be ignored. What’s worse is that the names being floated to run, are all worst candidates than the guys we have running. It goes to show how out-of-touch the establishment is with where voters are.
Jeb Bush’s name continues to be dropped in this race. Why? Who thinks it is a good idea to have party elders throw another Bush in the mix? Did these guys forget that we lost 2006 and 2008 to Barack Obama because of Bush fatigue? Did compassionate conservatism work? Is the electorate at large clamoring for a fourth Bush term out of the last seven terms? Let’s be frank, Jeb Bush may be a good guy, but establishment recruiting of him to be our nominee by bypassing the electoral college would be an unmitigated disaster. It is hard to see how this could end well.
Chris Christie is another name being tossed around. He is a great governor. He is politically savvy. He made a seasoned veteran move last week by lowering the New Jersey flag in honor of Whitney Houston, knowing that republicans weren’t ever going to abandon him over it, while endearing himself to many voters that may not have looked at him before – without any political loss. But Chris Christie’s official position on abortion is pro-choice. Many readers may have abortion fatigue right now, but republican voters care about it. And that “personally against, publicly for” isn’t going to fly. If killing is wrong, you should probably try to do something to stop it. With all of the abortion issues up in the air right now, pro-lifers would not stand for it. Most pro-lifers aren’t one issue voters. The Pro-life position isn’t even the “most important” issue to them. But, it doesn’t mean it won’t be considered and pro-lifers would be less likely to vote for a pro-choice candidate when he was put forward by party leadership than winning an actual election fair and square. For all of his pros, this one con would be his undoing.
Mitch Daniels could never beat Barack Obama in 2012, yet many republicans have been pining after him for a year now. First of all, the electorate doesn’t know who he is. You can’t bypass the electoral process by dropping in an unknown. It is a recipe for disaster. Secondly, and I realize this is shallow, but it will make a difference. Daniels is a short guy. He is almost a foot shorter than Barack Obama at 5’6. Of course this doesn’t matter on policy grounds and no voter should judge anyone by the way that they look. This would never be a reason that I would consider voting for a candidate. But it doesn’t mean many voters won’t. Like it or not, physical presence has an effect on a voter’s subconscious. Debates featuring Obama towering over him isn’t going to play better with voters now, then it did with Kennedy and the big-headed, sweaty Nixon.
Worst of all, last year Daniels declared that he would call a truce on social issues. That’s right, after Obama has pushed forward for four years to promote overseas abortion funding, abortion in our healthcare, government imposed abortion policy on churches, gays in the military, new rights for homosexuals in America and has allowed the Justice Department to not defend our DOMA laws as well as an entire slew of new liberal federal judges including two SCOTUS justices, Daniels, rather than quietly trying to regain all of the ground we have lost over three years would simply throw up the White flag. He would down the ball. That comment will come back to bite him over and over. I can tell you that conservatives will say, “no thanks” to Mr. Daniels. To be clear, those aren’t even important issues for the electorate and they shouldn’t be general campaign talking points. But for him to make such an idiotic statement, shows that he doesn’t care about the issues that the base cares about and that he obviously isn’t ready for prime time.
So…….That leaves us with seven unelectable candidates. But the truth is, candidates that at least go through the “meat grinder” are better for it and we come out with a better understanding of where they come from. Our best bet, is to stick with the guys that we have. We should see if Santorum can win Michigan and/or Ohio the week on message. We should give him a few days to get back on message. For republicans daydreaming about a new candidate jumping in, they should know that the grass is not always greener on the other side.