Nothing is “inevitable in life,” how long we’re going to live or who is going to capture the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. The media and so called Republican establishment’s incessant castigation of conservative voters who dare not support Romney as “Anyone but Romney” is insulting and only serves to intensify these conservatives dislike and distrust of Romney more.
Since when are Republicans obligated to anoint Mitt Romney with the GOP presidential nomination? Conservative voters don’t owe Mitt Romney anything. Last time I looked, we live in a democracy where the people decide and vote for whom they believe is the best candidate. This notion perpetuated and peddled by the Republican elite, whoever they may be, that conservatives must get behind Romney because he’s the GOP’s most compelling candidate in the field is laughable. If Romney is great as a candidate why over the past eight months hasn’t he been able to electrify the conservative electorate and tie up this nomination?
I’ll tell you why-because conservatives aren’t buying his act. They don’t trust him or his policy positions. Barely winning the Iowa caucus by a meager eight votes is nothing to pound one’s chest over, especially considering the money Romney spent lots of money in Iowa on ads. In fact, Romney’s win over Rick Santorum is a good example of his inability to captivate Republicans.
Romney won 25% of the vote the same amount he got in 2008, when he lost to Governor Mike Huckabee. Santorum did well in Iowa not just because of his support of traditional family values, which appealed to evangelical voters there, but because he’s a candidate whose convictions and passion are evident. When it comes to Romney many Republicans are dubious of his convictions. Not only has he moved to the left on issues like abortion, guns and Romneycare, but he’s robotic and voters never seem to get a sense of his true beliefs and he’s void of passion. How can you engender confidence in your candidacy if voters’ question how you would govern? And Senator John McCain’s endorsement of Romney is like a bad omen. You can hear the “anyone but Romney” crowd chanting “from one loser to another.”
In an email to his supporters, Santorum described Romney as “bland, boring career politician, who will lose to Barack Obama.” I think Santorum could be right. Romney is like the persistence engine that could. He failed in 2008; has been campaigning since and outraised his competitors with $32 million on hand in individual contributions compared to Ron Paul’s $12 million, Newt Gingrich’s nearly $3 million and Santorum’s $1 million. More good fortune for Romney, polls reveal he’s pulled ahead of a surging Santorum and declining Gingrich in South Carolina.
Perhaps Romney is on the road to his coronation as the GOP 2012 presidential nominee. But if he’s going to the conservative knight who battles Obama, Romney better bring more than bland to the race. The up for grabs, all important independent voters, who are unhappy with Obama, need to see some conviction and yes charisma oozing from Romney otherwise they have little reason to abandon Obama, walk across the road and vote for the other side. Maybe this is the GOP’s grand design.
By pushing the safe bet, emotionless Romney as their guy, the establishments knows Romney won’t stir the pot, jeopardizing Congressional races, which would give GOP good chance of winning control of the Senate and keeping control of the House whether Romney wins or loses. Being the Republican Party’s inevitable candidate may not be such a great thing after all but only time and the voters will tell.