Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Show me the money!

One might think--from some of my recent posts--that I'm on the Mitt Romney bandwagon. But I'm really not. I'm definitely on the Not-Newt bandwagon, though. However, looking out into pundit-land, there seem to be two basic kinds of stories on Mittens, these days. The first is an analysis--or pseudo-analysis--on Mitt's chances that almost always ends with the conclusion that he's pretty much locked in on the nomination. The second is a story about Mitt's foibles, about how he's the candidate the Democrats "really want."

Now, I think it is very much true that Mitt is in the driver's seat, that barring some unexpected developments he will get the nomination. And I also think it's true that he has some flaws as a candidate, that he's far from ideal. The issue of healthcare is at or near the top of such a list, no doubt. But let's be brutally honest for a moment: all of the Republican candidates are weak candidates. This is not to say they are necessarily weak people or that there's something intrinsically wrong with their platforms, it's just to note what the reality will be, come time for the actual campaign and election.

No one likes Newt, aside from his cadre of hard-core supporters.

Everyone thinks Paul is a bit loony, aside from his cadre of hard-core supporters.

People see Perry and Santorum as intellectual lightweights and Christian zealots, aside form their cadres of hard-core supporters.

No one knows who Huntsman is, aside from...well, you know.

And of the group, the one with most in their cadre is Paul, no question about it. But there's also no question that he is most stigmatized by perception.

Consider all of this, for a moment and ask yourself this question: why would Democrats prefer Mitt over any of the above? Seriously. All of the Republican candidates come with ready-made criticisms for Democrats, liberals, and progressives. How would running against Romney be so much easier for Obama?

Then there's that other little issue: money. Who--in the Republican field--has the most access to big bucks? Who can raise the most money, the fastest? Like or not, that's a real issue. And like it or not, Romney is leading the pack on this.

Right now--realistically--Romney is the only candidate capable of mounting a serious challenge to Obama, not for ideological reasons, but for ones of cold, hard reality.

Cheers, all.


  1. In 2008, Obama ran on no record and Magic Beans. In 2012, it will be a terrible record and Magic Beans. The national debt now equals or surpasses GDP. Generic center-right candidate should beat the Vacationer in Chief by 4 points, easy. I can't believe the Dems are lookin forward to running against anybody.

    I cast my NH ballot for Huntsman, the only Sig in the field.

  2. I agree with almost everything you wrote. One point, Santorum, despite his many flaws as a candidate, is much less of a lightweight than many people think. At least in the foreign policy department (some of his economic ideas make sense, too, but they are clearly not his strong field). The problem is that to a large degree foreing policy discussions in US at the moment are dominated by lightweights and ideologues who never ever admit they are wrong, but for some reason considered smart. The following years are shaping up to be very bumpy on the international front (and that's an understatement), but many people shut their eyes and don't want to even admit this possibility.

  3. @Leaker19: Too true! IHSV!

    @Dm: Perception usually trumps reality, unfortunately for Santorum.

  4. Oh, I agree. If you talked about perceptions only, we are in full agreement :)