Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mitt Romney Will Be a Fairly Strong Candidate If . . .

I had my doubts about Romney. He was far from my first choice. I felt that the Republican Party needed to nominate a strong candidate who could sell a powerful dose of economic conservatism to the middle ground in American politics.

We don't have that guy this time. Those guys either dropped out or never ran.

Newt Gingrich flubbed when he attacked a Republican for being a capitalist.

Rick Santorum forgot what the election is about.

Ron Paul looks good 90% of the time. The other 10% keeps me from wanting him to be president.

And that leaves Mitt Romney.

Our remaining four represent the different strains of thought in the party. Newt appeals to the dreamer in us all. At his best, he is appeallingly Churchillian. He is the gamble that the Republican voters are obviously not inclined to make. Ron Paul hearkens back to the heydays of the Taft family, William Howard and Senator Robert. Old school Republicanism that appeals to the youngest conservatives. Rick Santorum electrifies the shrinking base of die hard social conservatives.

And Romney appeals to few, but he is eminently acceptable.

So why will he be a strong candidate?

Mitt Romney reminds me of Shelley Moore Capito in some ways, although Representative Capito is a much better communicator with a much better rapport and understanding of average people. The trait that they share in common is pragmatism. They listen to their constituents and do what they can to satisfy their concerns. Voters direct them, not the other way around. Some deride that as not sufficiently ideologically pure, but it is certainly a grounded approach that fits a democratic society with so many viewpoints.

Capito and Romney are the anti-Obama model. They thrive on their connection with the average non-political voter. Neither sell themselves as they only answer to the question and you get the feeling that they are willing to give any reasonable constituent a fair listen.

Outside of Ann Coulter, few of the hardcore conservative pundits like Romney. Do Republicans and Democrats honestly think that is a problem for Romney? Much as I like Rush Limbaugh and others of his ilk, it helps Romney in the general election to not have their 100% support. Independents and moderate Democrats who have come to mistrust and dislike Obama will be more likely to support a candidate who is not the favorite son of the Right.

Some Democrats speculate that Santorum's support in the South will hurt Romney in the general election. Are people that insane to think that Santorum supporters will miss a chance to vote against Obama in November?

Should Romney win the nomination, an increasingly academic phrase, the election is his to lose. Moderation, attacks on the President made in good humor instead of anger, and an understandable plan to return to prosperity and reduce debt will give Mitt Romney a solid victory.

Just don't get sidetracked, understand that some humorous statements about wealth translate poorly to print, and stay focused. Don't sell yourself as the answer, emphasize teamwork with other experienced people including the other former candidates. That contrasts you with The Won. Most of all, exude optimism in yourself and, most of all, Americans.

Only Romney could beat Romney once he wins the nomination.

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