Romney’s Challenges

March 6, 2011

As I write this, it’s 10:44 in the morning and I’ve missed 10:30 Mass. I suppose I’ll make a 6 o’clock tonight; Lent is just a few short days away and I need to spend the first half of this week preparing myself for it. Truth be told, I probably take it a bit too seriously; I take a vow of silence unless otherwise necessary to speak in day-to-day interaction, only eat when I’m pretty starved, and forsake anything that I believe may tempt me to sin. Needless to say, trips to the Mall are very limited.

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Mitt Romney has all the characteristics of a Presidential Candidate. He has the physical features that make women swoon, he’s confident when he speaks, he has a fair resume to hold the Office, and he’s practically swimming in cash. The question is, can he make people forget his past flip-flop’s to sit in the Oval Office?

 

If and when he announces his candidacy, he has to fight his way through the Republican Primary; and I think everyone will agree that this Primary will be the most competitive in recent times. His rival, Mike Huckabee, seems to be slowly yet surely gearing up for his own campaign launch sometime in the summer; and it’s fair to expect the war-of-words to continue to escalate as time passes. Romney’s supporters are sore at Huckabee for what they consider conspiracy between the Huckster and John McCain to keep Romney out of the nomination; but Huckabee appeals to the youth in a way that only Ron Paul can compare to, and the energetic cell of support will prove a tough cookie to crack. Then there’s Newt Gingrich, the veteran in the ring that’s spent the last few years releasing DVD’s that play to key demographics as well. Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels are the new names in the fray, and therefore their influence can’t yet be determined; but the biggest challenger of them all may be the Tea Party Candidate, be that Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin herself.

 

Should he be the lone survivor of the gruesome primary, there’s the long road to November next year. I think Karl Rove spoke wisely, as he normally does pertaining to campaigns, when he said that “Republicans will underestimate Obama at their own risk”. Word on the street is, Barack might have a $1 Billion war chest going into the election; and every time that Mitt decides to take a shot at Obamacare, the President can turn right around and remind everyone on a commercial how Romneycare is it’s older brother. Indeed, it will be hard for Mitt Romney to call out President Obama for his broken promises when his own history of riding the political waves is so well documented. Mitt will struggle to hold the Evangelical vote as so many Republicans have due to his Mormon faith, and I believe he’s too far right to pick up enough of the Independent vote needed.

 

If Mitt Romney does get nominated, we’ll see two carbon copy campaigns. Truth is, Mitt and Obama have many of the same strengths and weaknesses, and it’ll be hard for one to exploit the other. I think the deciding factor would be Mitt Romney’s running mate. Mitt would be wise to select a Newt Gingrich or even a John Bolton, an older Republican with tons of experience and exposure to not only reinforce his credibility, but to show people that the more intellectually-oriented party veterans support him. This election cycle is Romney’s best chance at the Presidency; running again in 2016 would almost seem lame, to have made a run three consecutive times. What’s more, by then the political field will have changed as it always does, and Romney just might find himself stacked against Jeb Bush.


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