At the outset, I would be remiss if I did not disclose that I voted for Mitt Romney in the NJ primary in 2008. Generally, I think that Romney is probably a decent guy, with a good moral compass. I'm also convinced that he probably knows more about the economy than any of the other GOP presidential candidates. That said, after last night's debate, I am convinced that Mitt Romney will NOT be elected President in 2012.
As stated above, Romney is probably a decent guy, with a good moral compass and a superb knowledge of the economy. However, all you need to know about Romney was summed up, in the debate last night, when he said "I'm running for office, I can't have illegals working for me." That is, of course, an obvious observation. However, it also crystalizes what many in this party, who have been studying the candidates, have been sensing for awhile and that is that Romney is a bit of a weasel.
It is one thing to change one's mind. I believe that most people could buy his explanation about becoming pro-life. I also believe that most people could look the other way with regard to a lot of Romney's flip-flops. But that one phrase is so damaging that I am not sure how he recovers, because it is a window into his thinking. Namely, he gives the impression, real or otherwise, that he is nothing but an opportunist who will say and do anything he thinks he has to do to win. People hate that.
If you think that this isn't a problem, I would refer you to the 2004 presidential election between President Bush and John Kerry. If you recall, all of the numbers were trending against Bush. People were becoming dissatisfied with Iraq, the media were running stories about how bad the economy was, which was convincing a lot of people that we were heading into a recession. Bush ultimately won, but by a very slim margin. I would suggest that, were Kerry not such a weasel, he may have won that election. However, Karl Rove and the rest of the re-election team were able to accurately portray Kerry as someone who sold his Navy commrades out, accusing them of war crimes, to further his political career. Coupled with his numerous flip-flops, it was easy to paint Kerry as a weasel.
Granted, Romney didn't marry a widow who happened to inherit a ketchup fortune, but it doesn't matter. Last night, Romney gave his primary opponents, and Team Zero, the soundbite they needed to tie the whole "weasel" thing together. My guess is that it will not take much effort to hang the weasel label on Romney, making him virutally un-electable in the general election.
Some on this board may say that, it doesn't matter because Zero has been so utterly terrible that the American people will reject him. Some may say that Zero has betrayed himself to be a neo-Marxist, rather than a moderate as he portrayed himself in 2008. Those are valid points. However, it is never enough to run for President (or any office) as "Not the Other Guy." People don't want to vote against someone, they want to vote FOR someone. I do not believe people will knowingly vote for someone they perceive to be a weasel and if you don't think that the Obama team and their sycophantic lemmings in the media won't convince independents of Romney's weasel-like tendencies, then you're deluding yourself.
I'm not sure what the next step is. I still like Cain, still like Newt and Perry showed me something last night (finally). If Huntsman wasn't also a weasel, I'd take a look at him too. The bottom line is if we nominate Romney for President, I believe we lose the general election and Obama gets four more years to fundamentally transform the country. If that happens, I suggest we all pray really hard for the continued good health of Justices Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, Alito and Chief Justice Roberts, as they may be liberty's last refuge.
All that said, if Romney is nominated, I will vote for him. However, my volunteer efforts will be directed to the House and Senate races. In NJ, my state senator, Joe Kyrillos, is probably going to run for the U.S. Senate. I know the man personally and will be excited to help him take down Menendez. Likewise, in my congressional district, my understanding is that Anna Little will be running to unseat Pelosi's lapdog, Frank Pallone. My reason for concentrating on House and Senate races if Romney is nominated is simple: I believe Romney will lose to Obama and the Congress will be our only hope to stop the "fundamental transformation" of our country.