Even while many polls show Newt Gingrich ahead of the pack among GOP Presidential hopefuls, barring the revelation of a love child, it is very likely that Mitt Romney will ultimately win the nomination. The reason is simple. He is the most boring, and that makes him the safest and least objectionable to all the diverse factions that typically vote Republican in national elections. Gingrich's current popularity can easily be explained as that of the quintessential Bad Boy: He makes a good-looking politician, with competent speaking and debating skills that infatuate potential voters. But while they enjoy flirting with him, at the end of the day, they know he is not the type of man that a respectable young girl would ever bring home to mother. Marital infidelity, two divorces, and questionable ethical practices are among the many stains on his character that no amount of sweet talking can scrape away.
It explains the latest Time/CNN/Opinion Research poll, which gives Gingrich double-digit leads over Mitt Romney in three of the four states with early primaries. Yet, as with other polls, "a substantial number of voters" suggest that they could still change their minds at the voting booth.
There's a kookiness factor among the religious right and ultra-conservatives which has helped spawn and launch the momentary stars of oddball political candidates such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Donald Trump. Currently residing in such volatile organizations as the Tea Party, these voters are quick to attach themselves to any flamboyant public figure that suddenly appears on the scene -- speaking all their precious and treasured conservative ideologies -- without first confirming that they are worthy of their love. These oddball politicians are the ones who proudly proclaim themselves ordinary people (though, like Trump, they may be exceedingly wealthy), with no ties to lobbyists, special interest groups, large corporations, political parties, or intellectuals; who promise to descend upon Washington like an avenging angel with a flaming sword and drive all the heathen, career politicians from their comfy offices, and bring power back to the down-trodden middle class.
Of course, like all school girl crushes on the new boy in school, these impressionable voters quickly discover that the beguiling new kid isn't all he appears to be, and so they quickly lose interest in him.
In explaining Republican voters' apparent indifference to Gingrich's dubious past, the Transon Editor Benjamin Domenech says that "Gingrich's skeletons have bleached in the sun for a decade," and so those transgressions have lost their shock value.
That view, however, might only be applicable to the typical ultra-conservative voter, which seems to have an exceptionally high tolerance for hypocrisy and double-standards in their public figures. They embraced Sarah Palin as a woman of strong moral values, for example, although her teenage daughter, who lived with her, had a child out of wedlock. Later, they embraced this same daughter as a role model and speaker who counseled teens against premarital sex.
It's important to remember that in the 2008 Presidential election, the race between McCain and Obama actually remained quite close throughout the entire campaign. Even until the last week, few analysts dared predict a winner with absolute certainty. McCain might have won, many felt, if he had not made the strikingly reckless decision to select Sarah Palin as his running mate. Instantly polarizing and controversial, Palin lost him millions of undecided voters who were appalled by her utter lack of experience, rabble-rousing speeches, and aggressive, anti-intellectual stance. Had McCain selected another safe, boring running mate like himself, conservatives who were still on the fence about him would have reluctantly joined his camp -- if only because they could not accept a liberal media darling like Obama in the White House.
Like McCain before him, Mitt Romney's greatest potential enemy, therefore, would be impatience. As a new Rasmussen poll shows, he has now pulled ahead of Gingrich as the favorite in Iowa, polling 23 per cent to Gingrich's 20 percent and Ron Paul's 18 per cent. Former Massachusetts governor Bob Dole has also endorsed him, as has the Des Moines Register, so order is finally being restored to the universe.
With Obama struggling to maintain the love of the American public, Romney has a good chance to win the White House -- assuming he doesn't choose Michele Bachmann as his running mate!
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