Barring some miraculous help for Rick Santorum, it looks as if Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee to take on President Obama in November. I really wish Santorum would just concede. How many times can we watch the talking sweater vest and the Sears mannequin exchange the same tired barbs? The eventual Romney nomination is the equivalent to a sports team making the playoffs with a losing record. If he won the presidency, it would be a monumental upset.
So how excited is the GOP leadership on Mittens pending nomination? What say you, Florida Senator Marco Rubio? "There are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for president, but they didn't. I think Mitt Romney would be a fine president, and he'd be way better than the guy who's there right now." Or how about former New York Governor George Pataki? "Now, Mitt is not a perfect candidate. He has a number of problems. It's hard for blue-collar families like mine to identify with him. It's hard for economic conservatives to identify with him. He needs to do more to reach out to the Latinos. But I think he has focus on that and on defeating President Obama as opposed to winning the next primary in the next state, and it's time to do that." What amazing endorsements! It sounds like they are conceding another four years to President Obama.
When the GOP race heated up, I had been trying to come up with 2012 GOP slogans. I settled on "The Time For Thinking is Over," but now, I think I need to just simply go with "Let's Get it Over With." I knew the GOP was quite the mess, and splinter groups like the Tea Party have forced their candidates to pander to the very fringes of the party. If you had any doubt of the GOP disarray, just look at the field of candidates they rolled out: Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann, Paul, Huntsman and Pawlenty. This group looks like a bunch of fly-by-night used car salespeople. It felt like they were trying to lay off a '76 Pinto on the American public, and if you read their platform, that is exactly what they were attempting to do. What the GOP proved is that they have a dearth of leadership with no clear platform.
Once Santorum receives the message in Crazy Town, Denialville or whatever enclave he has chosen to reside, Mittens is the GOP's man. The GOP rank and file has tacitly decided that the most boring man you could imagine -- that created a taboo universal health care plan in Massachusetts, and finds layoffs knee slapping humor -- is their best bet to unseat President Obama in November. The GOP members will no doubt still come out and vote for this lifeless stiff. If they are smart, they could have spun Romney into an electable candidate despite his personality shortfalls and his aloofness to the plight of middle class and lower class Americans. Women's rights and health care are two issues that the GOP now has major problems with, and that will haunt them at the polls.
Women have been voting in increasing numbers the last few elections, but Romney will adhere to conservative dogma and continue the assault on their reproductive rights. Also with health care, he could have chosen to steal President Obama's thunder by trumpeting his success implementing MassHealth during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts. Romney had a perfect opportunity during the Supreme Court deliberations on the Affordable Care Act, but has this pathetic fear of alienating the nuts that make up the Tea Party. He's so dogmatic that a fringe group's paranoia overrides the concerns of women and working class folks. To me, its plain political suicide and a clear display of not being politically malleable, which is paramount in politics. A candidate must step out of autocratic party lines to appeal to the masses.
So here we have it, our 2012 showdown between the most boring man in the world and President Obama. Granted, I haven't read attacks on a president so inflammatory since Hoover's campaign against FDR, but like FDR, Obama understands how the game is played and won in 2008. It will be interesting to see Romney in the debates, fidgeting and motioning like a little child as he always does in debates and appearances, while Obama will be thinking, "Am I really debating this stiff?" The GOP unenthusiastically chose Mittens for November, and after a collective yawn from the voting public and their own party leaders, they'll have to figure out how to get themselves out of the rabbit hole before 2016.
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