Sunday, December 4, 2011

Second Looks

The first debates of declared GOP contenders for the nomination took place in April, and the field is less settled now than it was then.  In a period of 6 months, we’ve gone from Romney v. Pawlenty, to Romney v. Bachmann, to Romney v. Perry, to Romney v. Cain, to Romney v. Gingrich.  It is all just a warm up act for the big show – Romney v. Romney.  That’s the debate we would all like to see.

Mitt has had 4 years to seal the deal with a party that traditionally nominates its loser from the last round.  There used to be a safe, hierarchical system in place that rewarded loyalty and longevity.  Think Dole.  Think Bush 41.  Think Reagan.  Vetting took place over a period of years.  Today, candidate vetting takes place in a matter of hours not in smoke filled rooms, but in YouTube powered chat rooms.  Instant feedback can be fickle.

For the GOP base, nominating Romney would be like taking your cousin to your prom.  She wasn’t your first choice, but she’s pretty, she smart, and you hope you won’t get screwed when it is all over.  You’ll defend her honor if necessary, but you won’t have much passion about it.  Ultimately, it will be a decision you will be embarrassed to tell your grandkids about.  So the base continues to flounder about, asking candidates to go for a walk or something, and hoping that candidate will hold their hand or something.

Rest easy, Republican base.  The doctor is here with a prescription for a candidate you may have overlooked.

Here is how I see it.  The GOP needs someone who can calm the center in the general election, preferably someone who has a track record of attracting independent voters.  The candidate needs to look presidential.  A loyal, media savvy spouse and a couple of cute kids would help.  The candidate needs a solid record of not raising taxes.  The GOP needs someone who will bring proven private sector business experts to run the West Wing as Chief of Staff.  The ideal candidate will attract the middle if he/she can disavow renditions and secret prisons…but can be counted on to defend them once in office.  As Newt said during the debates, this should be done “all covertly, all ultimately deniable.”  (Please explain, Professor Newt, how announcing your plan on national television allows for a plan to still be considered 'covert'?)

The Right needs someone who will get the pumps going again in the Gulf of Mexico to help our energy needs and put the people of the Gulf region back to work.

·         Someone who will expel thousands of illegal immigrants as standard policy.
·         Someone who will take the fight to Al Qaeda, without committing our boots on the ground.
·         Someone who will commit to slash domestic spending over the next 10 years by trillions.
·         Someone who can attract minorities to the coalition.
·         Someone that has the ire of the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
·         Someone who is a Christian.

They should nominate Obama.  Maybe they should take a second look.

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