Despite all the chatterboxing and punditry, we will extrapolate our expectations of their qualifications to be our nominee and President based on their past actions – not words.
We can only pray that those who claim “our only objective is to replace Barack Obama” are not in positions of authority anywhere else and make such shallow decisions. What good does it do to beat Obama and then end up with George Bush 41 or 43 that would continue to grow government? Likewise, what good does it do to elect someone we perceive will be “conservative” if they can’t beat the Democrat Presidential Nominee to have the chance to govern?
There is a balance of qualities we need to address, namely:
This Part 1 will deal solely with:
Electability has two parts. First, getting a majority of the GOP voters to gain the nomination, and secondly getting at least 20% of the Independents or Democrats despite the sand blasting by billions from the Obama Campaign and the MSM.
ROMNEY (aka MODERATE MITT or as Santorum called him in 2008 - The “true” principled conservative)
I think we all agree that Romney has a great chance of winning the GOP nomination if “real” conservatives remain split. Despite protests of many fellow friends (and my own vacillating opinion) I do agree that the GOP isn’t going to vote for anyone else and Mitt’s past liberal flaws become benefits among Independents and Democrats who have two or more brain cells. Yes, RomneyCare is a problem but if Romney is able to still win a GOP primary in Florida, do you really think Independents and open minded Dems will be harder on him than Obama? Probably not.
Romney is the best at competing with money and organization of all of our candidates and will have a ton of surrogates to argue his (our) case in the media. As he has in GOP debates, he can survive a punch pretty good with a series of good looking smiles, slight of hand slickster responses and well timed lies. There is no doubt he can beat Obama, but if it is close, his campaign and values don’t fit the UCLA government analysis that “big ideas” win close elections.
The idea that Romney will play better with Independents on things that hurt him with conservatives is likely very true. But conservatives likewise never fully went after him on Bain layoffs, and statements like “I like to fire people,” and “I don’t care about poor people.” These were non-deductible gifts to President Obama and his new SuperPACS and will become common knowledge by anyone who owns a TV.
SANTORUM (aka RELIGIOUS RICK or as the gay community calls him… - actually I can’t print that here.)
Dan Riehl (who’s blog I subscribe to and Twitter account I follow religiously) – made a severe error in his post suggesting that because Santorum’s current polling is at 40% among the GOP, his “electability” argument is over. (And if you don’t agree, GO Pee yourself – or something was his argument).
Of course you could have made the same claim about Bachmann, Perry or Cain. Time and attention have a way of changing perceptions when either new “facts” are brought to light or we witness the candidate in the role as the leader we were expecting to see if they measure up. Obama was elected because the mainstream media protected him from scrutiny. It is my contention that Santorum is leading because the conservative media is doing the same, burying stories of his embarrassing comments and not really looking at his pro-union, pro-bigger government, pro-GOP Establishment record. Despite the Club for Growth’s very reasoned analysis of warnings and virtually NO history of reform he initiated, conservatives ridiculously overlook far worse infractions of Rick’s “conservatism” than anything close to what Newt did. CG says:
As president, Santorum would most likely lead the country in a pro-growth direction, but his record contains more than a few weak spots that make us question if he would resist political expediency when it comes to economic issues”
If the Conservative press keeps artificially making excuses they will get stuck with a non-executive who will do what he’s always done. Be at the front of social issues without any real inner core of reform. Don’t believe me? How about the fact that he was AWOL on TARP, ObamaCare, and even stabbed prolifer’s in the back by making it harder for protestors to picket the VERY thing he was supposed to be for. He touts Welfare Reform but was originally against Jack Kemp’s idea to get rid of it totally, and then championed a version that House conservatives deemed “an expansion” of Welfare Reform. I am equally as befuddled at supposed “principled pro-lifers” who don’t even dig deep enough to find out why the Pennsylvania Right to Life did NO canvassing for him 2006. But yes – if the conservative media mafia like Limbaugh, Malkin, Ingrahm and Levin continue to overlook the sins of their priest of perfect – and keep screaming he can beat Obama - Santorum will be much like George W. Bush. (Without the executive, charisma and leadership skills.)
So can he beat Obama? Despite positive assertions by my friends that have been wrong on just about everything else in this primary, we just don’t know. Part of the reason is because he was JUST beaten 6 years ago in a bell weather state that supposedly had ALREADY vetted him and knew him well. (The war argument doesn’t hold since his competitor also was for the war and a “bad year for the GOP” doesn’t explain why 3 other GOP candidates defended their seat ok.) Al Gore’s defeat somewhat suggests in a close race the economy might not even win and if you think the mainstream was hard on Bush – just wait until their gay mafia forces fund and accentuate EVERY statement, vote and affiliation he’s had through their lens. We DO know that hypocrisy alone can kill a candidate’s chance. Santorum has a BUNCH of problems there, in his charity, personal giving, cover up for other congressional adulterers and even the gay priests.
He can argue ObamaCare all he wants – but sitting on the board of a Healthcare MegaCorp that was ripping off Medicaid while he was there can’t be nuanced through a mainstream media lens. Be as blind to this as much as you want conservatives, Santorum is a FAR weaker candidate in a general election than ALL of the other candidates, including Paul. We do not own the culture – and we can’t get it back by telling people we should.
If he continues to tell “whoppers” like this, he wont’ even be able to argue against Barack Obama. Here he tells an audience that we should worry about ObamaCare because in the Netherlands 50% of the elderly are euthanized – which was TEN PERCENT OF ALL DEATHS!
(Washington Post fact checker found it was less than 2.5% of all deaths and only 0.4% could potentially have been against their own wishes.)
Dick Morris writes extensively this morning on these problems and while he (somehow) maintains that Santorum could beat Obama he discusses Santorum’s inability to stray off point:
And there is a flip side to his idealism -- stubbornness. He clung to his defense of the Iraq war throughout his 2006 race for reelection, refusing to flinch even as the war's popularity took a nosedive. Santorum's friends will tell you that he is loyal to a fault and consistent even at the price of political disadvantage. While admirable traits for a friend, they are not necessarily conducive to winning the presidency.
Morris has proven no soothsayer selecting Romney in South Carolina and other things, but we clearly agree on one thing, there is a much larger element of risk in running Santorum against Obama than others. The inevitable negative ads and scrutiny have begun. I’d bet rupees to Ricky’s that articles like this Washington Post article – will do even worse to Santorum’s poll numbers than what they did Gingrich.
Newton Leroy Gingrich (aka the Newtster or the Pennsylvanian-born Dough Boy)
Gingrich has shown (twice now in this cycle’s national polls) that there are circumstances where people will get behind him as the GOP nominee. He has been a victim of smears by people who we used to trust (Malkin, Levin, Beck, Limbaugh, etc). Oddly, nearly everything that was thrown at him from the Paul Ryan issue to the Reagan issue turned out to be absolutely 100% false. Marianne Gingrich’s damage was proven not to be serious either politically or factually but there are some that just don’t believe in the redemption of Jesus Christ despite the life of King David and Newt clearly changed life of the past decade plus. For him to get out of the primaries, it will HAVE to be due to a Santorum fall. Too many ego’s and prides are involved for a majority of GOP supporters to admit they didn’t vet Santorum closely enough. But if that happens – Gingrich frankly is the only TRUE conservative. Except for his pre-Reagan and Reagan-backed votes of the 80’s, he never voted to increase the debt ceiling or give unfair advantage to unions over non-union employers as Santorum did. I don’t see any reason that he couldn’t “stick” in a long fall.
Of course, running against a corrupt, Democrat incumbent is what Gingrich has been successful at his entire life. Where conservatives freak out about a TV ad with Nancy Pelosi when global warming science was NOT discredited, the public won’t care. In fact, it will make him seem MORE acceptable to them – that he will work with others. He certainly has the ability to battle in the mainstream media, debates and with ideas and “looks” Presidential – unfortunately the final determining factor for a large number of Independents.
It seems Santorum has the best chance to get through the primaries if the the conservative media continue to cover up who he “really” is as the press did for Obama in the general election. It’s really like Rock, Paper, Scissors. Santorum cuts Gingrich, Gingrich covers Romney, and Romney smashes Santorum IF AND ONLY IF the negative ads do to him, what they did in Florida and Iowa.
And if Santorum survives the initial scrutiny, he can clinch the nomination but likely will struggle in a general election where he is too far “right.” Romney could likely do as well in a general election, but is too far “left” and his nomination chances are in jeopardy.
Of the general election candidates, we’ve proven with Dole and McCain moderates don’t work. An incessant beat that Gingrich was responsible for creating the environment for 11 million jobs, a balanced budget and reforming Washington not only might win – it will put a glaring light on every weakness of Obama.
Part 2 – What evidence does each candidate give from their track record of:
- Creating and enlarging the conservative movement (and elected officials),
- Governing in a conservative, reform-minded manner.