Monday, January 30, 2012

GOP Primary Troubling to Voters

Am I the only one so completely turned off by this GOP primary that I am ready to bury my nose in a book and wait until the convention to come around? How in the world does the current atmosphere of personal attacks and petty ego stroking speeches translate into a win over President Obama in November? The short answer is that it doesn't.

If anyone is so delusional to think that President Obama's re-election is all but assured then I have some choice property to talk to you about. The power of the incumbency is a hard advantage to overcome and this president is a part of the Chicago political machine. The re-election team has been planning this since January 2009, make no mistake about that. Barack Obama never stopped campaigning and neither did his team.

Team Obama assumes that Mitt Romney will be our nominee. This is likely to come to bear. The question then is whether or not the conservative voters and Independents will rally around him after the convention. Or, will they allow themselves to be played and stay home to insure another Obama victory?

None of us gets the candidate of our dreams a majority of the time. That is just the reality of politics. What we have to do, though, is to apply the Buckley rule: nominate the most conservative electable candidate.

Am I a Romney supporter? No. But if he is my party's nominee, I will be. Am I a Gingrich supporter? No. But if he is my party's nominee, I will be. This is the first time I can ever remember where I truly do not feel I have a dog in this hunt. I simply don't care at this point, I'll vote for the one with an R after his name. Any of our nominees are better than the current president. Though, if push comes to shove, I do think that Romney will give Obama a real fight for victory.

That said, our bench this time around was shallow. Whether it was that those who would have truly given Barack Obama a tough run were too uncertain to enter the race - believing the president would be re-elected in the end anyway - or that it is a failure of the national party to cultivate leaders coming forward, probably both are true. Also in today's gutter politics, putting one's family and loved ones through the mud slinging is a tough decision to make.

Look at what this race has devolved into - today we are told by Newt that Mitt is a liberal. We are told by Mitt that Newt is mentally unstable. The back and forth was so bad between those two in the last debate that Rick Santorum had to ask that they move on to substance. It was disgraceful.

Romney is up in the polls in Florida, as we wait for Tuesday's primary votes to be tallied. Romney has out-spent Gingrich. Gingrich is whining that the Romney ads have unfairly hampered his polling numbers. What, then, would he do in the general election against Obama where it will, assuredly, be tougher? He expect whining from Obama. I expect better from a Republican nominee.

Polls show that in swing states that Romney ties Obama while Gingrich trails by almost double digits. A Republican must win the Florida primary to be the party's nominee and to become president, too.

The ugly name calling - Gingrich has ramped up his description of Romney from a moderate to a liberal Republican - is playing into Team Obama's dreams. The waiting for Gingrich to implode - as he always does - is tedious. Let's hope that by 2016 the Republicans can have the backing of conservatives who understand there is no perfect human being and that even includes those running for president.

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