One year out. In about 51 weeks, there will be another presidential election. And the country will be forced to make a decision. As of November 2011, the good thing about that decision is we don’t know who the GOP will select to run against President Obama. The bad thing is that one of the many buffoons running in the GOP primary could be the nominee.
Republicans are not all that charged up about their choices. There is Mitt Romney– probably the Republicans’ best chance at winning in November 2012– with pretty consistent, if underwhelming, support at roughly 22%. Then there are the many buffoons vying to be the Romney alternative.
Republicans just don’t like Romney and have been fighting for an alternative to Romney since 2007. The whole Massachusetts mandated health care law he signed probably has something to do with that dislike. Romney has always been a little bit left of Reagan’s GOP. Ironically, Ronald Reagan was a little left of his GOP. The GOP’s deified Gipper could not win the Republican primary today. Can you imagine Michele Bachmann ripping Reagan for raising taxes (which he did as president)? Or Rick Santorum calling Reagan out for signing an abortion law as California’s governor? And who wouldn’t berate Reagan for allowing amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens– as he did in 1986? If Reagan couldn’t win today– should Romney want to?
Hate it as the GOP might– the race is Romney’s to lose. The main alternatives have all had their 15 minutes and fizzled under the scrutiny. We recently learned the latest Republican flavor of the month– Herman Cain– isn’t appropriate with women. Although some of the allegations could prove baseless, unfortunately, we are at the point where there are just too many allegations coming from too many women. Not only random women, but women who received monetary settlements because of something Herman Cain said. Herman might be innocent of some of the charges, but not all of them. Herman said something not right to too many people. And because of it, his candidacy is over.
Fortunately for 49 states, Rick Perry has proven he’s a certified idiot. If Texas continues to vote for him as governor, hopefully they do secede, as he suggested. Say what you want about Obama, but an Obama–Perry debate would be like Abraham Lincoln going up against a muppet. Do Republicans really want to expect so little from their candidates in debates that the GOP candidate wins if they don’t look like a complete moron? Is the Palin intelligence test really the new normal for the GOP? If Perry’s the nominee, the answer is yes.
Newt? Not going to happen. Just get it out of your head if you’re part of the 11% of his support. Newt won’t win because he’s lazy. He’d rather be vacationing than campaigning. Don’t take my word for it, ask his former campaign staff who all left him when they found out he didn’t want to campaign.
Ron Paul? Not. Going. To. Happen. He has campaigned for the presidency as long as Romney and has gotten little traction. Unless a fire lights under his campaign before Thanksgiving, he’s not the alternative either.
Bachmann? Santorum? Unfortunately, too many Americans would move to Canada if either of them were elected. They are just frightening. And Huntsman, like Ron Paul, speaks his truth and is a decent candidate, but just can’t get any traction.
Which makes our choice Romney versus Obama come 2012. If unemployment remains at 9%, November 2012 should be Romney’s to lose. No president since World War II has been reelected with an unemployment rate higher than 7.2% (Reagan was reelected in 1984 with a 7.2% unemployment rate). Obama’s approval rating has plummeted from 69% upon his election to roughly 43% now. His standing among independents dropped from 62% approval in January 2009 to its current level of 37%. President Obama is beatable.
Unfortunately, for Republicans, their enthusiasm for the eventual nominee reminds me of Democratic enthusiasm for a certain senator from Massachusetts that ran in 2004.
That’s why Romney loses in 51 weeks.