The 2012 GOP Presidential Field: Garbage In, Garbage Out

So Drudge says Newt Gingrich’s 2nd wife talked to ABC News for two hours and dumped all over him.

At best, any momentum he had will be broken as voters desperate to beat Obama will think Gingrich is too risky. At worst, well, given the stage of the campaign we’re at, the best and worst case scenarios are basically the same. Either way, Mitt Romney will be the beneficiary.

How did we get here? Look at the awful choices we had.

Tim Pawlenty:

A nice enough guy who simply wasn’t big league material. From his strange effort to attack Obama to his strange unwillingness to attack Romney (then apologize for not attacking him and then attacking Romney again from a safe distance) he was never able to get going.

Basically he’s a guy whose abilities maxed out as Governor of a mid-sized state. There’s no shame in that but he was never going to make it to the White House.

Herman Cain:

An inexperienced idiot with character problems.

Michele Bachmann:

She could be reasonable at times but more often than not, she was either bragging about leading a bunch of losing fights, making ridiculous claims about vaccinations  or cheap shotting other candidates to protect Mitt Romney.

Jon Huntsman:

A reasonably conservative guy who decided to run as a liberal, while insulting conservatives. An off-putting personality and a lack of basic political instincts is not a winning recipe.

Rick Perry:

He’ll be remember for his “oops” brain cramp but the reality is he never acted as a serious candidate. He seemed to think his record (which most people didn’t really know) and ideological compatibility with the base would get him through. Turns out voters actually expected him to be able demonstrate a passing familiarity with some issues a President will face and build a coherent argument for his policy proposals. In five months, Perry couldn’t do either. He simply didn’t do the homework necessary to be seen by conservatives as plausible candidate/President. Perry supporters will blame voters for not focusing on Perry’s strengths but it’s his job to demonstrate them.

Rick Santorum:

An economic liberal who seems to care more about social issues than anything.

Just look at the debate earlier this week. When asked what he’d do about unemployment he talked about how people who get married do better economically.

First, I doubt that people worried about the economy want to be told, “get married”. They are probably looking more for something about taxes, spending cuts and pro-growth government policies.

Second, even if marriage were the key to prosperity, I don’t want a government big enough to do anything about that. It’s simply not government’s business how people organize their life. Santorum doesn’t seem to agree with that.

Newt Gingrich:

To my mind the best of a bad lot. He has plenty of deviations from the conservative path but he actually has a long track record of accomplishing conservative goals. His ability to defend and advance conservative positions in an effective way is head and shoulders above anyone else in the field.

Always below the surface was Newt’s fatal flaw: his personality. He failed to respond to Mitt’s negative attacks when it could have mattered in Iowa and by the time he did get around to it he sounded whiny (oh all the ads against me!) and then attacks on a front (Bain) he doesn’t actually believe in.

As he was finally coming back after this week’s debate, his old arrogance was coming back as well. Now, his ex-wife will put in the final bullet. Even if she has nothing new, it will stir up old fears and lead voters back to the supposedly safe harbor of Mr. Electability….

Mitt Romney:

You know why Romney spends so much time attacking other candidates instead of promoting his conservative achievements? He doesn’t have any to speak of.

The supposed case for Romney’s “electability” is the fact that he won one election. He won that election by running as a “moderate” whose policies were “progressive”. And now his biggest supporters tell us we can’t hold anything he did or said to get elected or while Governor against him because “it was Massachusetts”.

As for Romney’s signature achievement while Governor, it just happens to be almost the same thing as the number one thing conservatives hold against Obama, yet he still defends it.

Romney is only electable if you accept the restrictions his supporters place on you….you can’t hold anything he did or said before 2007 against him and have to give him total credit for everything he said since then no matter how much it conflicts with anything else (unless a recent comment actually hurts him and then you have to ignore that too). We also have to ignore the fact that Mitt’s previous career and wealth might not be looked on as favorably by general election voters as it is by conservatives.

For a guy who is supposedly so clearly “Electable” he sure comes with a lot of caveats.

I could go on about Mitt’s many flaws (just skim around this blog and you’ll see I have) but what’s the point? He’s going to be the nominee and he’s going to lost to Obama.

I’m not sure any of those who declined to run would have been better in the long run but clearly this primary season it’s been garbage in, garbage out.


About Drew

I blog about politics and hockey because I sort of understand those things. I'd blog about women but I'll never understand them.

Posted on January 18, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Drew, look at this shit from Erick Erickson at Red State.

    Ron Paul

    A prominent friend told me some weeks ago that he noticed an odd thing. In his state, several people who have been successful in getting themselves known as very probably Mitt Romney delegates for the Republican National Convention are also his supporters. And they are not just my friends’ supporters, they are also long time staunch Ron Paul supporters.

    Why then would they, long time staunch Ron Paul supporters, align this year with Mitt Romney? He made calls and talked to friends in other states. All of them saw the same thing happening — long time Dr. Paul supporters working to become delegates to the convention pledging to support Mitt Romney and others.

    If the field stays fractured at this level, with only a few people, but each getting delegates enough to prevent the front runner from an outright majority, there will be a second vote at the Republican National Convention.

    Delegates are only locked in for their candidate during the first vote. After the first vote, they can vote for whoever they want. So if Mitt Romney is unable to clear an outright majority on the first ballot, suddenly he could see some of his delegates turn on him — turn and go back to Ron Paul.

    It is an ingenious strategy premised on a convention where no one gets majority support early. It plays well to a primary calendar where the delegates are first awarded proportionally. Who knows if it is a campaign strategy or just his volunteers, but the Paul campaign has been active now for four years trying to take over local parties.

    It may pay off if the GOP doesn’t unite around a candidate soon.

  2. I am not sold on Newt yet, but I think you are being far too defeatist.

    Let’s see how this shakes out. Women hate cheaters but in my experience (as a woman) they hate the women who cheat with the men even more.

    I am more interested to see how the scandals from his Speaker days play out with voters. I feel like they haven’t been covered much yet.

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