Wednesday, November 23, 2011

So The GOP Will Nominate....No One?

There's been a parade of "front runners" these past few months in the race for the Republican nomination for President.
And still, Mitt Romney hangs in there, either in the front or just hanging off the leader. It's sad that no one in the party can draw less than 70% hatred. It says something not only about the candidates, but about the party: they are desperate to find someone, anyone, who has both a "principled stance" and electability.
And it also says a lot that Mitt Romney has focused his attention on social issue centric Iowa, hoping to sweep in and land a quick KO on his competition. And it says more that there's an actual conspiracy against him.
Representatives for leading social conservative groups in Iowa held a secret meeting Monday as part of an effort with one main goal: find and support a Republican presidential candidate who can stop Mitt Romney in Iowa.

The idea: avoid splintering the conservative vote in the state by rallying around one GOP rival who could win Iowa's Jan. 3 caucus and then challenge Romney in New Hampshire and the other early voting states.

Many social conservatives and other religious leaders in the state have openly labeled the former Massachusetts governor as a "flip-flopper," a criticism the campaign frequently beats back, while others have seen Romney's Mormon faith as an issue. And many of them have openly hoped for someone to emerge as a viable alternative to the former Massachusetts governor.

So what lessons can we extract from this? First, it's a little early for Obama to focus on Romney as the nominee-apparent. Lots can happen even in the few weeks between now and Iowa's caucuses (January 3) and who knows what surprises are in store for any candidate up to then? Second, it seems apparent that the "enthusiasm" gap that the Republicans claim to enjoy over Democrats will dwindle should Romney win, and while that enthusiasm could be bolstered by selecting another of the colicky dwarves, those people would scare off the independent voters who will turn out in droves to defeat a nutcase.

The way the race is shaping up, and with the positive employment news released yesterday-- overall, jobless claims rose but in 45 states and territories, they declined, a first in this recession-- it seems all Obama has to do is stay in the Oval Office and sign executive orders until January 2013, and he'll have a second term.