It WILL be Romney

September 26th, 2011 at 12:07 pm | 117 Comments |

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Rick Perry’s propensity for gaffes, poor straw poll performance, and lackluster debating skills are already forcing many people who thought he would surely be the Republican nominee to reconsider. They’re right to have second thoughts, yet while Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and even Jon Huntsman may go on to win some primaries, none have a real chance of becoming the nominee either.

This leaves only one person standing: Mitt Romney. Whatever ups and downs take place for the Romney and Perry campaigns, it’s pretty obvious what will happen: Romney will prevail.

The Republican nominating process, quite simply, gives a massive advantage to those who have “been around the block” before. Since end of the Eisenhower administration, all but two people to emerge as the winner from the Republican primary process–Barry Goldwater and George W. Bush–were, in some sense the “runner up” in a previous presidential nominating process. (In 1968, Nixon was previously an unsuccessful nominee.) George W. Bush, furthermore, almost certainly outperformed in early polls because people thought he was his father. And, in any case, he could also tap his family’s vast political network.

And networks like this one are what really decides the Republican nominee. Republican primary voters hold all of the weight in the process. There are no Republican super-delegates and Republican primary voters (not without reason) do not believe that media sources give their candidates a fair shake. Support from county party chairs, Republican clubs, and conservative activist groups matters a lot more than fund raising or even gross support in the polls.

Nobody can build this type of support overnight: getting it often requires the physical presence of the candidate. Mitt Romney has had six years to visit with the people who really decide on the Republican nomination. Neither Rick Perry nor anyone else can duplicate his efforts in six weeks.

Recent Posts by Eli Lehrer



117 Comments so far ↓

  • Carney

    Exactly right. Romney has done the hard, unglamorous work of showing up in person (on time, when invited, with plenty of advance notice, ahem Palin) for countless rubber chicken dinners for grateful local candidates around the nation.

    • Dragonfly

      Romney has done it on his own time – how about Obama?

      His Jobs Speech was given in a joint session – what did all that campaigning cost the taxpayers? You wouldn’t even want to pay the light bill.

      • wileedog

        “Romney has done it on his own time – how about Obama?”

        C’mon, really? What office does Romney hold right now? Other than professional Presidential Candidate?

        • Dragonfly

          My point is that Obama is campaigning while on the payroll – on our dime and time – Romney’s on his own dime and time.

          EVERYTHING Obama is doing has been for his re-election efforts, not for the betterment of the country.

        • teabagger

          Dragon sty:

          Please post your published letter to the editor which called out G.W. Bush for campaigning for reelection in 2004 while on the payroll – on our dime and time –, during the Afgan war and the Iraq (brought to us by Bush lies) war.

          To quote a line: “EVERYTHING Bush was doing had been for his re-election efforts, not for the betterment of the country”.

        • wileedog

          “My point is that Obama is campaigning while on the payroll – on our dime and time – Romney’s on his own dime and time.”

          Your point makes no sense. Who else’s dime and time does Romney have the option to be on?

          And what has Obama done differently than every other incumbent President has done going into an elections year?

          Seriously, there is enough to criticize Obama on. This is just making stuff up.

        • gocart mozart

          Obama is the first President to campaign for re-election?

        • Primrose

          Oh please! Every incumbent first term President could be accused of that. President Bush (W) even had the IRS send out a letter telling us all we would be getting a refund, not with the refund but ahead of it. How much did that cost us?

      • overshoot

        “Romney has done it on his own time – how about Obama?”

        Good question. It’s worth remembering that prior to Barack Obama, American Presidents always resigned from office before starting their re-election campaigns.

        • sp23435

          What modern President resigned before running for reelection? None.

        • overshoot

          Much as I like the crowd here, I’ve gotta say that there are a few here who REALLY need to keep up on the calibration cycles for their instruments.

      • Carney

        Meh, I’d give Obama a pass on this. The economy’s in the crapper, the president should be able to give a big jobs bill speech in an off year to a joint session. Is it political? No way around it.

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    And networks like this one are what really decides the Republican nominee.

    That’s a fascinating statement, Eli. This is just a blog post, so I don’t hold it against you for not including it originally, but are you aware of any longer-form articles on how this process works? Who are these folks, how do they interact with each other, the candidates, and the GOP electorate?

    I used to wonder, around 2007 or so, if the people in the GOP who gave George Bush Jr. $100m or whatever in 1999 to make him the nominee had any regrets, what with the administration’s expanded federal power, the not-actually-more-humble foreign policy, the surpluses turned into deficits, etc. ‘Course, he left office with a 75 percent approval rating from Republicans, so maybe they were all delighted.

    • Graychin

      I would also like more information on the network that REALLY runs the GOP and gives marching orders to the primary voters.

      Do you guys ever lie awake at night, worrying that the Tea Party just might take over YOUR party?

  • Dragonfly

    Romney will be the next president because it’s the economy, stupid, and he is the best qualified person for the job on both sides of the aisle.

    • Primrose

      Based on what? His business job experience was laying people off. He couldn’t figure out how to run a business at a profit without losing jobs, how will he know what to do with the government?

      • Lord Sidious

        Romney made money laying people off and outsourcing jobs. He was an economic vampire like Soros. He will not win PA or Ohio. Plus he’s anti-Mexican.

  • indy

    Duh. Way to play catch up Eli.

    And, you are absolutely right. In general, the GOP nomination is an inherited position. Which leads me to this question: who is the heir in 2016?

    • Dragonfly

      Romney will most likely be in there for 8 – but, he’s apt to fix it and pass the torch in 4.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    “Nobody can build this type of support overnight: getting it often requires the physical presence of the candidate. Mitt Romney has had six years to visit with the people who really decide on the Republican nomination.”

    Yeah, but where is the evidence that people actually like Romney? That feel like he can connect with them? Back in 2007 he led in both Iowa and New Hampshire at this stage of the game having won the Iowa straw poll. Romney has only won one election once as Governor of Mass. but has run more races than Stassen.

    Normally, given how Republicans always give to the guy who did best last time around I would think it would be Romney, but he simply doesn’t connect with people. I don’t think he is a bad person or anything, I just can’t see him firing up crowds or generating enthusiasm. “Mitt…he is pretty much all we got” is not exactly a great campaign slogan.

    • Dragonfly

      He beats Obama in the polls.

      • Frumplestiltskin

        Did you even read what I wrote? 4 years ago he was beating McCain in the polls, the polls right now are pretty meaningless. You are doing a grave disservice to Romney by not taking things seriously. Being a shill is worse than useless, it is counter-productive.
        Winning will require a hell of a lot of work, and as of now he has not shown he has it.

        • Dragonfly

          Oh no I’m not – I knew then that Romney was the best person for the job, but I also knew he would not get the GOP nomination – as soon as I saw McCain’s Congressional buddies coming out and speaking for him I knew the result. His buddies have political machines that control massive districts throughout the country – unless you pretty much have the same thing going for you there’s no way you can compete with it – considering, Romney did well.

        • Dragonfly

          As for the polls – I know what they mean and don’t mean – and I know Romney will get the GOP nomination – it’s the economy, stupid, and there’s really nothing in his way from getting it – he’s the most qualified for the position.

    • dugfromthearth

      The republicans are not trying to nominate someone people like, they are trying to nominate someone that is not totally hated by everyone besides the republicans. The standard republican plan is to nominate the most conservative person who is viable in the general election. They are praying that the economy is doing badly enough that Obama is beatable and they need to find someone that is not so toxic he cannot possibly win.

    • indy

      …but he simply doesn’t connect with people

      I guess you could view this as a negative. But compared to the rest of the current field, it’s not since they actively drive people away.

      And, here is another way of looking at it: if Obama is going to lose, who do YOU want to be the Republican nominee (I mean assuming somebody like Huntsman doesn’t have a chance)?

    • Grace

      I think this is where Perry comes in (or at least was supposed to). A fire-up-the-base bombthrower who was expected to be able to do three things:

      1. Toss the bit-player clowns out of the car before too many people start paying attention. Even I would have said he was a sure thing to dispatch Cain, Bachmann, Santorum, etc., in short order. He wasn’t supposed to outshine Romney but I would think was expected to outshine the others. I’ve heard he had back surgery in July and maybe the lingering effects from that are what is making it unexpectedly hard for him to outshine even the others.

      2. Keep Palin on the sidelines so the GOP elite wouldn’t have to deal with that headache and distraction. He does seem to have achieved this goal.

      3. Serve as the VP nominee to placate the hard right extremists. I think he could easily fill Palin’s 2008 role of throwing the red meat and surviving a single debate by not answering the questions and essentially using it as a two-hour commercial. Looks like he’s going to need more intensive coaching to do that than I might have thought, but if it could be done with Palin surely it can be done for him.

      It’s entirely possible that with enough establishment jibes at him, and the inevitable “lamestream media pile-on” that Faux and Rush can rehabilitate Perry by making him yet another martyr to the cause, and thereby generate enough support for him as VP nominee. His sins will be washed away in a wave of victimhood and Romney will be able to cluk magnanimously over his unfair treatment by the leftists.

      It seems that one of the big things the GOP wants to run on is experience. Between them, Romney and Perry will be sold as having eleventy-billion years of executive experience compared to Obama. The crowd having the vapors now over his defense of the Texas version of the Dream Act will be relieved that as VP Perry will be in no position to promote that at the federal level.

      Perry is clearly not much of a debater but soon enough all that will matter is throwing punches and red meat on the trail, and nonstop media promotion. I think he’ll still survive to knock the lesser lights out of the ring and take the VP nod. There has to be a southerner on the ticket and he seems the strongest bet in that regard. The next best may be Haley Barbour but his Boss Hogg persona is less appealing than Perry’s rugged cowboy good looks.

      • Redrabbit

        Martyr to the cause?

        With his views on immigration and his…less than delicate way of expressing them to his opponents, I think some of them see him as a traitor to the cause.

        • Grace

          Yep, some do. Many on RedState are hopping mad and vowing they could never support him.

          But you aren’t factoring the ‘persuasive’ powers of Faux, Rush, et al, into the calculation. These are outlets that have 25+% of the country convinced that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president and lives among the saints and apostles, that Newt Gingrich is an intellectual, that BP is looking out for their best interests, that it’s better to die in the street than have guaranteed access to purchase health insurance from a private insurer, etc.

          If Perry is the VP nominee, all will be forgiven as he joins the pantheon of hallowed martyrs to the leftist liebrul lamestream media. Failing that, they’ll assure the flock that God has ordained his calling to the VP’s office, where he’ll spend his days planning national prayer events and chairing secret commissions on deregulating anything that has even a whiff of impeding our Galtian betters as they resume the looting.

  • HereInVA

    I think the tea party and some conservatives will still want answers for

    1)RomneyCare — To me this is answered by saying you saw a problem, tried it, and now can see what works and what doesn’t. Obama saw the program, ignored what didn’t work (supposedly), and nationalized it.

    2)Social Security — Don’t defend it like a Democrat if we know it’s going broke in its current form. Explain how to make it last and what changes are needed. People are already nervous about your potential liberalism.

    3)Mormonism — Like it or not, some religious types are spooked by Mormons. I can’t say I agree with it but I’m more concerned about his views on religious liberties than on Mormonism

    4)Gaffes — You got your pass on saying something wasn’t removed from your book when it was. Don’t try that with Obama

    There may be issues with pro-life, gun control, hate speech but the above are the concerns in my circle.

    • Dragonfly

      Massachusetts doesn’t have socialized health care. What they have is a private-market health insurance program – NOT a government program. MA private health insurance saves taxpayers from getting stuck paying the health care bills of FREELOADERS. MA was teetering on bankruptcy; this was a solution to save the state.

      Whether or not ObamaCare gets ruled unconstitutional, Romney stands on the best grounds to go toe to toe with Obama in a Presidential debate. After Obama expresses disbelief that Romney could be against ObamaCare since it’s so similar to RomneyCare, Mitt could retort:

      “You keep saying the law was crafted after ours in Massachusetts, but neither you, nor any Democratic leaders in congress (Pelosi/Reid) even so much as gave me a call or asked my opinion about what was working and what wasn’t. If you’re going to use something as a template, common sense says that you do your due diligence in assuring that the template is adequate and functional. If you were using my law as a template, why did you never contact me to discuss it?”

      • Dragonfly

        RomneyCare was uniquely designed for Massachusetts; ObamaCare is a one-size-fits-all imposition on all states, regardless of their economic condition. Massachusetts is the third-wealthiest state in the United States. Moreover, even before state-level health care reform, 89% of its residents were insured. Do you think it’s possible that a wealthy state with a low percentage of uninsured might have greater means to offer universal coverage? Some much poorer states have up to 25 to 26% of their population uninsured. How much more will it cost to offer universal coverage in those states? Shouldn’t they be free to work out solutions that fit with their economic reality?

        RomneyCare was enacted only after Mitt balanced the state budget. If you don’t think this an important distinction, then you haven’t been paying attention. Mitt enacted health care reform in a wealthy state, that he first rendered fiscally sound, to cover a modest amount of uninsured. Obama enacted his reform in a nation that is shattering deficit records to insure millions upon millions of uninsured with no money in the bank. How much conservative anger about ObamaCare is driven by fiscal concern? I know much of mine is. How can we possibly pay for this? Who could rationally think we can afford this reform in an era of record deficits?

        Mitt created bipartisan consensus while Obama rammed his reform down our throats and against the majority opinion of the American people. Had the President attempted a truly bipartisan reform, we likely would have had a bill, but it would have been far more modest, far less controversial, and it would not have broken the bank. There’s a difference between leadership — which Mitt showed in Massachusetts — and the raw exercise of power, which Obama, Reid, and Pelosi demonstrated in Washington. How much conservative rage stems from the fact that we (and the rest of America) were essentially steamrolled?

        • Frumplestiltskin

          “Mitt created bipartisan consensus while Obama rammed his reform down our throats and against the majority opinion of the American people. Had the President attempted a truly bipartisan reform, we likely would have had a bill, but it would have been far more modest, far less controversial, and it would not have broken the bank.” This just keeps getting funnier and funnier. Um…it was bipartisan because Romney acted like a Democrat. When Republicans claimed at the outset that Obamacare was going to be Obama’s waterloo the notion that Obama could have gotten a truly bi-partisan bill through Congress is simply farcical.

          And I had no idea people in New Hampshire have different DNA than people in Mass. and therefore require a different health care system. It either works or it doesn’t. Medicine is like this, there is no regional variation in the states as far as the administration of Medicine, the same medicine works for the flu in Texas as it does in Iowa.

          I suppose Microsoft is somekind of monstrosity in these peoples minds, they have a one sized fits all (and I mean all) operating system imposed on the whole world. How dare they, they should have a computer operating system for each state.

          Romney, elect me President so I can do nothing like I did in Mass. because that would be terrible, in fact, elect me so I can do nothing.

          Dragonfly is, by far, the worst advocate of Romney of anyone I have ever read.

        • Dragonfly

          Then why do you waste your time over Romney and me?

          LOL – pathetic is as pathetic does.

        • Dragonfly

          Ya, and, so…………

          Are you also the cut & paste police – do you have 2 badges or does everything come under one?

      • Frumplestiltskin

        “You keep saying the law was crafted after ours in Massachusetts, but neither you, nor any Democratic leaders in congress (Pelosi/Reid) even so much as gave me a call or asked my opinion about what was working and what wasn’t. If you’re going to use something as a template, common sense says that you do your due diligence in assuring that the template is adequate and functional. If you were using my law as a template, why did you never contact me to discuss it?”

        Wow, that is simply ridiculous. Why would Obama call up Romney? He did not design the bill or write it, Obama and his team called up the person who designed the bill in Mass. and he was an integral part of the PPACA. And beyond that, since Romney is a Republican and who was evidently running against Obama, what kind of answer could they have expected except: “don’t do it, it is socialism.”

        • Dragonfly

          He wouldn’t call him – that would make sense – the Democrats have no sense – they gave half a billion dollars of taxpayer money to a company they didn’t even bother to see whether or not they had a doable business plan. The Democrats do not know what they are doing, and the economy is proof positive of that fact.

        • Rossg

          Name a major corporation that has never made a bad investment. All those that have made bad investments, do we make the blanket statement that they do not know what they are doing? To borrow from an earlier statement, ‘all those who have never made mistakes may cast the first stone.’

  • rubbernecker

    Romney’s the least bad contender with a chance of winning, but he’s still as craven as the rest of the GOP panderers. Recall that Romney was among the eight at the August debate who affected to refuse a 10:1 cuts to tax increase deal:

    Bachmann
    Cain
    Gingrich
    Huntsman
    Paul
    Pawlenty
    Romney
    Santorum

    Any Republican candidate is in thrall to the dreadful base.

    By the way, that was a great analysis by Grace. But I repeat myself.

  • Saladdin

    Eli,

    For once, I think you’re correct. This election, shapes up like the 04 election… Perry as early front runner (Dean), and Romney as the steady, boring guy (Kerry).

    What Republicans were hoping for, I think, was to be moved, as it were, but are realizing that the establishment pick is better than the alternative.

    • Grace

      It’s a common refrain on RedState that the faithful would crawl over broken glass to vote for a tuna sandwich over Obama, if it came to that.

      If anything, the GOP establishment knows it has the base even tighter by the short hairs this time than any other election. All this talk of the power of the Tea Party is a hoot, because by their own proclamation the candidate doesn’t even need to be an animate object to get their vote.

      So the big money boys will, as always, pick the candidate, and Romney’s it. A bone tossed to the base for letting them pick the VP nominee and they’re good to go.

  • Dragonfly

    “Frumplestiltskin // Sep 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    you are posting LOL as replies to your own posts? That is just sad. Nobody cares about his college transcripts, no one cared about GWB’s, and it is safe to say no one cared about Reagan’s. please don’t reply to you own posts, modify them or post another one, it looks schizophrenic when you do.”

    Oh boy, here we go – the post police. Do you have a shiny badge?

    • rubbernecker

      You are simply dazzling!

      Update: This comment was part of a now-censored thread. How strange that FF would give dragonfly cover for plagiarism.

      • rubbernecker

        Please don’t presume to lecture me. I have a longstanding familiarity with internet protocol and needless to say, plagiarism is regarded with as much contempt on the internet as in any other venue. That you are so shameless about it is pathetic.

        I’ve responded to few of your posts, which you’ve spammed all over this forum, but if it flatters you to think otherwise to stroke your self-love, by all means!

      • icarusr

        I have a sneaking suspicion, Dragon, that you are really only 12. A precocious twelve-year-old, to be sure, but you can’t possibly be older. It is not your defence of plagiarism – even a twelve-year old knows better – but your constant replies to yourself, the LOLs, and the “police with a shiny badge” comment. And suddenly, your infatuation with Romney becomes so clear.

        Daddy left when you were 6, didn’t he? He was somewhat shorter, a bit fatter and significantly less successful than Mitt, but each year, as he never called, never wrote, never sent child support (he’s a Republican, after all), he grew taller, richer and more impressive. You want Romney to win about as desperately as you want your daddy to call you at your next birthday …

        • Carney

          Deleted.

        • Carney

          Wow, icarusr, that’s pretty low. Reread that, look in the mirror, think of your mother, and re-think your life.

        • ottovbvs

          “Reread that, look in the mirror, think of your mother, and re-think your life.”

          Based on the perspicacity of most of your comments Carney I wouldn’t have said you spent much time thinking about your mother.

        • overshoot

          In light of our new TOS, I won’t make any of the obvious comments.

        • Gramps

          overshoot…
          Is that…”Terms Of Service”…?

        • overshoot

          Yup.

        • Gramps

          Is there any recourse…?

          Don’t say…

          Nop.

          I know…

          Yup.

        • Lord Sidious

          Obama will spank Romney. Americans reject racists.

        • Carney

          LS, how is “racism” defined to you?

          Has Romney said anything negative about Hispanics? Let’s ignore that there are many unflattering, verifiable, quantiative facts about Hispanics and thus saying negative things about them may well be true. Let’s just assume that making any negative remarks about them is ipso facto evil, and the truth of falsehood of such remarks is irrelevant.

          Well, no, he hasn’t.

          All he’s done is talk about how we need to enforce our immigration laws. That’s “racist” eh?

          OK. So we’re supposed to allow millions of Hispanic illegal aliens into our country to avoid being called “racist” by other Hispanics.

          Sorry, no deal.

        • Political Orphan

          Romney sneers at Latinos.

        • Russnet

          Lord Insidious! What a bunch of senseless drivel. You’re the racist.

        • Russnet

          Ready for less politics and more baseball. It’s EARLY still.

  • Oldskool

    Whoever is the nominee isn’t the issue as much as which party prevails. To repeat, a Republican would have to hire his administration from the same pool of people as Shrub.

    Even if Romney found middle-of-the-road people to hire, they couldn’t get anything constructive done with the Republican grenade-launchers in Congress. That’s the restructuring problem we face.

  • bdtex

    Romney won’t win his home state. Wrap your brain around that.

    • Dragonfly

      He’ll win the primary there – the general is another story – it’s mostly Democratic, so what’s up……

  • Solo4114

    It was always going to be Romney. He has experience running a national campaign, he’s built the infrastructure, he’s a familiar face, and he’s got the cash.

    Now, it’s true that he’s not particularly well liked by GOP primary voters, but given that the GOP primaries are “winner take all,” he actually benefits from the fractured field and the fact that there is no clear opposition candidate to him. Granted, it’s still early days, but it’s hard to see how anyone in the current GOP field is going to pose a credible threat to him for the nomination.

    And that’s exactly the problem for the GOP in the general election. Romney is all they have. The danger with Romney as the candidate is that he doesn’t sufficiently excite GOP base voters towards turnout efforts, and may even hamper them. He can grab the center, potentially (certainly better than anyone else in the field except maybe Huntsman), but in so doing, he loses the right. He can tack right, but in so doing, risks losing the center. It’s a very difficult situation for the general election.

    To win in the general, both sides will need to sufficiently turn out the base and grab JUST enough of the center. This is why there are news stories about Obama support slipping among liberals. This is why the GOP’s current efforts to hamstring the government potentially work to their advantage. If they can get enough people to say “Bah! They’re all crooks!” and stay home on Election Day, then they stand a chance of winning — again, if they can turn out their base in big enough numbers. I think it’s pretty clear that voter turnout will be low this year. Certainly nothing like 2008, but probably extremely low by modern comparisons. People are disillusioned, depressed, and (I expect) feel that their hands are tied and either party will screw them. In those circumstances, you’ll see far fewer people actually voting.

    That, however, only makes appealing to one’s base that much more important. And that’s where Romney is at his weakest. His best bet with respect to his base is that they react the way the Dems did in ’04 when, while not exactly over the moon for Kerry, they turn out to vote Bush out. And even then, it still didn’t matter.

    • Grace

      They’ll turn out, even for Romney. They’ll mutter and moan about RomneyCare, and flip-flopping, and a few other quibbles, but they’re being propagandized 24/7 that Obama is a Kenyan Socialist Mooslim who is comin’ for your gramma and then you. Evil personified. They know that ObamaCare has to be repealed by 2014 before more benefits take effect.

      They’ll turn out. They’ll use radicals running in congressional and local races to fire up the TP activists, so they’ll be motivated enough by those races and pull the lever for Romney as long as they’re in the booth. Do you think their interest in electing local loons has waned? I haven’t seen evidence of that.

    • Carney

      This cycle the early primaries are no longer winner take all.

      And Romney can flourish enough endorsements from figures with high credibility to the base, and will pick a running mate who will bring them home without scaring off the independents. I’d say Pawlenty or Thune, maybe a Southerner if absolutely necessary.

      • Grace

        Pawlenty as VP? Another northerner? And one who makes watching paint dry seem like an exciting alternative to attending his rally? I thought the VP’s job is to keep the base fired up by saying the things that the POTUS nominee can’t be seen saying?

        Can’t comment on Thune, have never heard him speak and not motivated enough at the moment to use the Google machine to try to find him on YouTube, but again — not a southerner? I realize he’s mountain state west but I can’t see him being much help to Romney. South Dakota’s three electoral votes seem pretty safe for the GOP without him on the ticket. If I was going to go mountain west, I’d look for someone from a more populous swing state (Colorado, Nevada). Brian Sandoval? Former Bush appointee to a federal judgeship, previously elected Nevada Attorney General, so two successful statewide runs under his belt. He seems like a solid option.

        But I still think it has to be a southerner. It might be a bridge too far to expect the base to choke down Romney without a southerner to reassure them. Rubio and Haley would seem to be too green to help sell the GOP ticket as the antidote to Obama’s alleged lack of experience. Jindal’s a possibility but he seems to suffer from the same lack of excitement as a bombthrower as Pawlenty, and has the Kenneth-the-Page image dogging him to boot. Barbour would be solid on the experience angle but again, the Boss Hogg affect is pretty gobsmacking. Aside from Perry, the only other option I’m coming up with is Jeb Bush. Seems too soon to have another Bush on the ticket but I’d be interested in hearing from you on whether you think that could fly.

        • Crime Dog

          With a Mormon in the top spot I can’t see the GOP base accepting a non-Evangelical as VP. So no Rubio and no Jeb (both Catholics). Maybe Bob McDonnell?

        • Grace

          I missed McDonnell in my spin down the wingnut roster. You have a good point about considering the need to have an evangelical to compensate for Romney. I’m not entirely sold yet on it being necessary this time, what with them being willing to vote for a toaster and all, but your take would be consistent with their influence. Besides Bush and Rubio, Jindal would be out as a Catholic too.

          I’ll have to look for McDonnell on the YouTube. Have you seen him speak? Is he bombastic enough? I couldn’t find anything on his campaign website about his current church but notice he attended some Catholic schools. Are you sure he isn’t Catholic?

        • Primrose

          Nikki Haley?

        • Redrabbit

          Pawlenty? His bad debate performance and the way he sulked away after Iowa might make him seem like too much of a loser, for want of a better term.

          But I do have to object to something.

          Sure, Minnesota is in the north, but it’s pretty much the upper midwest, right? It’s not just northeastern types that the base hates? Even central/upper midwesterners are unacceptable?

          Regionalism aside..

          Given how he has done in debates, I keep thinking of Santorum. He has been leaving Mittens alone, and is going after Perry HARD from the right. He can make a credible claim when it comes to delivering certain parts of the base, so I do wonder if he has stayed in the race just because he’s hoping to be Mitten’s VP pick, assuming he picks someone from the field.

          As for Perry as VP? I don’t see it. It looks like bad blood is quickly building between Mittens and Perry, and I don’t see either of them agreeing to that.

        • Grace

          Santorum may be angling for the VP spot with Romney but I think that’s a lost cause. He’s Catholic (not evangelical), has his ‘weird’ moments (even as perceived by the RedStaters, let alone the middle), and couldn’t even hold his Senate seat in PA. Come to think of it, that’s another strike against him — he’s also a northerner.

          Aside from Perry, Cain may have the best shot at the VP nod among the current field. He’s a southerner, an evangelical (isn’t he an actual preacher?), not an establishment pol, brings diversity, and can give a fiery speech. He comes across as likable and far less ‘odd’ than Santorum. If I didn’t already have my money on Perry, and had to pick from the current field, I’d put my money on Cain. He’s probably too unpredictable for Big Money’s comfort, though. Perry has proven he can come through with the ROI. Cain also doesn’t deliver an important swing state.

          There may be bad blood between Perry and Romney but they appear to share a critical trait: single-minded ambition and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to come out on top. The lust for power is probably enough to forge an ‘understanding’ to get them through the campaign together and once in office they operate in different spheres. How often do you see the Pres and VP together?

  • Dragonfly

    “teabagger // Sep 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Dragon sty:

    Please post your published letter to the editor which called out G.W. Bush for campaigning for reelection in 2004 while on the payroll – on our dime and time –, during the Afgan war and the Iraq (brought to us by Bush lies) war.

    To quote a line: “EVERYTHING Bush was doing had been for his re-election efforts, not for the betterment of the country”.”

    LOL – I thought ObamaCare included free meds for Bush Derangement Syndrome – I thought wrong, or do you live under a rock where they can’t get them to you?

  • Saladdin

    In re to Romney, my favorite exchange was on a Daniel Larison post:

    “Why so many anti-Romney pieces?”
    His exceptional lack of principle offends me. He is manipulative and dishonest to a degree that I have seen only a few times before. That’s why.
    “he will be incredibly strong in the general election.”
    No, he won’t be.

    • Redrabbit

      I’m less certain that Romney has no strengths in the general.

      Primary voters do seem to think he will. Polls of likely voters, albeit early polls, show him running closest against the President.

      How much will ‘swing’ voters care that he is ‘fake’? How fake will he come across to them? Or will he just seem like a kind of stiff but more or less competent technocratic businessman?

  • Watusie

    September 23, 2011 12:35 PM
    Building a campaign message around a lie
    By Steve Benen

    At a certain point, I realize there’s very little point in pushing back against a lie. Once it’s been told over and over again, and people either believe it or they don’t, the value of the fact-check is greatly diminished.

    But I like to do it anyway, because it makes me feel better.

    Here’s the line from last night’s debate that Mitt Romney simply loves to tell:

    “The president went about this all wrong. He went around the world and apologized for America.”

    If someone makes a bogus claim, he or she is merely wrong. When someone repeats the bogus claim after learning the truth, they’re lying. When someone builds a national campaign message around the obvious falsehood, they’re shamelessly lying.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_09/building_a_campaign_message_ar032394.php

  • Stewardship

    I anticipate that Romney will spend most of the campaign trying to look like Reagan (and I mean physically). Photo opps, great America speeches, etc. Teflon from here on out.

    • Carney

      I’m backing Romney but I doubt you’re right there.

    • Saladdin

      Wow, I’m no fan of Reagan’s, but that statement seems a bit deluded.

      The difference between Mitt and Reagan is simple, Reagan said what he believed to be true, even if it wasn’t popular, Mitt says what he feels his audience wants to hear. To put it another way, Reagan was sincere, Mitt not.

      • ottovbvs

        “Reagan was sincere, Mitt not.”

        Debatable surely. For much of the latter years of his presidency Reagan was obviously starting to experience the onset of Alzheimers so who knows whether he was sincere or not. He probably didn’t know since at times he was suggesting he actually was in action in WW 2 rather than just appearing in movies.

        • Saladdin

          True Otto, but at the start of his term, he was truly sincere (or could at least fake it). Mitt can’t even seem to do that well at all.

  • Jamie McFadden

    “Republican primary voters hold all of the weight in the process.”

    Exactly. Which is why Rick Perry will be the nominee.

    It’s ok, Eli. We’re all entitled to a little wishful thinking once in a while.

    • Solo4114

      Actually, I think we’re headed for a moment of truth here. Will it be the primary voters and a “grass roots” approach that will determine the nominee? Or will it be the “establishment” who will call the shots?

      I think it will actually be the establishment because they don’t need to OVERTLY call the shots in order to exert influence. Subtle priming of the “grass roots” voters can sway them to Romney. And don’t forget — all Romney has to do is get the MOST votes.

      Unlike the Democratic party’s primary process, GOP primaries are — as I said — winner-take-all. If you get 22% of the vote, and nobody else gets more, you win that state, lock, stock, and barrel. There are no proportional delegates awarded for runners-up. ALL Romney has to do to clinch the nomination is score higher than everyone else INDIVIDUALLY, not combined. And the longer more candidates stay in the race, the better off he is as all opposition to him remains balkanized, and the better his chances are of beating them. All of this is why dark-horse candidates fare more poorly in the GOP. The establishment is usually strong enough to get their guy over the line, even if they only BARELY manage it.

      If he can pull enough of a lead early enough in the process, then it won’t matter when opposition finally coalesces around another opponent. By that point, it may be a mathematical certainty that he’s the nominee, even if he loses every remaining state. Even if he doesn’t pull out in front early on, he can afford to lose a few states here or there, as long as he barely makes it over the finish line first everywhere else.

      I will grant you that it’s POSSIBLE a guy like Perry will win, but don’t forget that conservative media and the blogosphere will continue to shape opinion about him among the base. And if the repeated message is “Not ready for prime time,” the base will turn to someone else. This is why there’s all the discussion about “Draft Christie” and such. But if Christie says he won’t run (and he shouldn’t), then who else will take on Mitt?

      • Jamie McFadden

        Suppose you’re right, and the “father of socialized medicine in America” wins the nomination? Do you really think the Tea Baggers will suffer ROMNEY to be their man to go up against Obama? I think you are gravely mistaken.
        If Romney wins the nod, there will be a far-right third candidate – most likely Perry. I’d bet money on it.

        • Redrabbit

          But they also seem willing to vote for ANYONE who could beat Obama.

          Even if that is Romney.

          A far right candidate running on a third party ticket is a possibility. But I would expect a “centrist” third party run with Bloomberg before that happened.

          If the teabagger vote is indeed looking for a spoiler, then maybe The Donald could get back in the race on a third party ticket!

        • Jamie McFadden

          In the unlikely event (in my opinion) that Romney wins the nod, I predict one of two things happening which both seem more likely to me than Romney winning:
          1. A far-right third candidate will run and siphon off votes
          2. GOP voters will stay home and turnout will be depressed due to lack of enthusiasm

          It is true that the GOP base viscerally hates Barack Obama and would probably vote for Lucifer if it could be construed as a vote against him. We’ll just have to wait and see.

        • Solo4114

          Honestly? Yeah, I think they’ll back him. The net effect will be lower turnout by the Tea Party folks, but they’ll still show up fueled by “Anyone but Obama” attitudes. Will they show up in the same numbers as they would if, say, Perry or one of the other farther-right candidates was at the top? Probably not, but they’ll still show up to some degree.

          The question will be WHAT degree that is. We’re playing at the margins now, and have to start factoring in issues like VP nominee, as well as the timing of Romney locking up the nomination. The longer Romney has to get the base used to the idea that he’s it and there is no savior, the more he’ll be able to retain turnout numbers. Two things will need to happen before the election, as I see it: (1) the Tea Party will have to resign itself to Romney being the nominee, and (2) the Tea Party will have to discover its deep-seated loathing of Obama.

          The longer Romney has the nomination locked up, the more time he has to get #1 there out of the way, and move on to #2 which will be crucial to mobilizing support. What he’ll have to worry about, though, is the kind of stuff that happened in ’08, such as Youtube videos of the woman who says “I think he’s an Arab” at a McCain event. That kind of stuff will hurt Romney with the independents and may even increase Democratic turnout.

          As for a third-party candidate….I don’t buy it. Mostly because I don’t buy that the Tea Party is anything other than the “Revolutionary Vanguard” of the GOP. Or the “1%-ers” if you prefer. At any rate, they’re still “GOP” even if they reject elements of the GOP. What they won’t do, however, and what their media outlets won’t LET them do, is run a 3rd party candidate who will siphon votes from Romney. The powers-that-be in the GOP simply will not let that happen.

          Look, the wingnuttery in between elections is one thing. The occasional wackiness during mid-terms is another. But there is no way in hell that the GOP shadow brokers and their corporate and media allies will allow a third party candidate to do anything to upset their chance at knocking off Obama.

        • Jamie McFadden

          Know who will decide this one for Obama? Regardless of who the Republican nominee is?

          Women.

          Want proof? Here’s the owner of this website with all the proof you need.

          http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/03/06/why-rush-is-wrong.html

  • ottovbvs

    Of course Eli your distinction in the Nostradamus department is legendary. Now let me see didn’t you just admit you got the Florida straw poll wrong?

  • Frumplestiltskin

    this is from TNR: Rick Perry’s lousy performance in three consecutive debates hasn’t hurt him at all. He lost two percentage points but that’s well within the margin of error, which is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Perry had a big surge in mid-August but it’s hard to see where it came from. Sarah Palin (who isn’t actually running) and Ron Paul I guess, but Palin’s four-point drop in early August falls within the margin of error and Paul’s six-point drop only slightly exceeds it. A few weeks later Paul was, for no apparent reason, back up to 12 percent, then down five points last week. Gingrich’s five-point surge is deeply mysterious (and probably illusory, since only 0.5 points of it fall outside the margin of error).

    You’d think that the two beneficiaries of the debates would be Mitt Romney and “Someone Else” (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie?). But Romney’s support is virtually unchanged and “Someone Else” dropped to 3 percent at the very moment that he or she was supposed to be surging. Maybe that’s why Christie’s spokesman said today that he isn’t running.

    My philosophy about Perry has been: Ignore him and he’ll go away. It worked with Palin and Bachmann. I still think Perry will fade, too; he’s just at an earlier stage in the blowhard life cycle. But the spotlight’s been on him lately as he’s made kind of a fool of himself. It doesn’t seem to have mattered. That does give me pause.

    Update. National Review Online is reporting that Christie is “very seriously” considering getting into the race, according to former Gov. Tom (“New Juuuzy and You”) Kaine. “It’s real,” Kaine told NRO. “He’s giving it a lot of thought. I think the odds are a lot better now than they were a couple of weeks ago.”

    If Christie gets in Romney is finished, they will cancel each other out in the NE making Perry the default winner.

    • Redrabbit

      I’m not so sure.

      There seems to be a LOT of serious money and party power pushing for Christie. If they do bring him in, I could see the last bit of party backing and big money behind Perry fading fast, and switching over to Christie.

      How it would affect Mittens I don’t know, but I could see it as an event that eventually clears the field and brings it down to Romney Vs. Christie. The establishment will probably try to pull the rug out from under the others as fast as possible, maybe leaving someone like Cain or Santorum in the field for a VP bid, should either Christie or Mittens be interested.

      I don’t think the party elites and the big money and major corporate powerbrokers would be pushing SO hard for Christie unless they were reasonably sure they could write off the rest of the field pretty quickly.

      Ron Paul, of course, will remain in to the very end of the process, because that’s his thing.

      The establishment wants a unifying figure. If Christie fails to live up to that, he will be dropped by them as fast as anyone else.

  • ottovbvs

    “My predictions about the Florida Straw poll were wrong:”

    Nostradamus Lehrer speaks! Let the world listen. It is of course way too early to predict the outcome of the Republican primaries since the first one is months away.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    very strange, I linked to a CNN poll that shows no erosion of support to Perry, and to an update from a Natonal Review article that Christie was thinking of getting in, yet it was erased. If Christie gets in Romney is finished. Has Frumforum gone totally in the tank for Romney?

    • Gramps

      Hey Frump…“el rushbo” totally agrees with you…!
      Yer in damn good company son… ;)

  • Frumplestiltskin

    never mind, there are some formatting problems going on. things are being posted out of time.

  • Gramps

    BTW: I never meant to infer that “el rushbo” was a “she-banger”…just, fer the record…!

    Webmaster…please note…

  • Gramps

    “Terms Of Service”…?

  • Gramps

    Damn…that’s “refreshing”…I’m usually three days late and seven “greenbacks” short…

    Thanks fer the “heads-up”…!

  • John Frodo

    I despise the Tea Party but would rather see Rommney win than a second Obama term.

    • Lord Sidious

      I hate Romney. I would rather another Obama term. Better a Progressive Democrat, than a Racist Mexican hating Progressive Republican.

      • Rubicon

        Mexican hating? Does Romney hate his own family?

        • Lord Sidious

          Romney is running a racist campaign. He’s demonizing Mexicans to whip up the Nativist vote. If he wins the nomination, he will lose Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada. I’m not Mexican. I am Argentine-Lebanese and Colombian. But Mexicans are my cousins and I have some family who are Tejano. I will not vote for a KKK wananbe like Romney.

          I can also tell you, Romney will not win any Southern State. He’s a Mormon and they don’t like these people there. So he will lose because he’s a biggot and people are bigotted against Mormons. It will be divine justice.

        • Russnet

          Said like a true Lebanese-Argentine-Colombian. Give me a break. Your racism neurosis is laughable.

      • Lord Sidious

        Perry understands the struggles of Hispanics in America. He’s not a bigot and refuses to demonize the illegal issue. Hispanics already don’t trust the GOP. Do you really think that they will vote for someone who demagogues them? Romney did nothing about the illegal Irish in Boston. That speaks volumes right there.

        He’s a racist and will go down in flames. I will vote for Obama before I vote for a Klansman.

        Southerners will not vote for a Mormon. With Romney, you can kiss the Hispanic vote and White Southern vote bye bye!

        • Lord Sidious

          Romney will not get more than 15% of the Latino vote. He will lose Florida, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

          I will enjoy seeing him cry like his feminine dad when he loses in 2012.

      • Carney

        Romney’s family spent a few generations in Mexico to evade anti-polygamy laws. I’d guess he has a sentimental positive view of Hispanics. And given his elite origins I’d also guess he has the typical PC view of them as well. No need to worry on that score.

        My support for him hinges on the rock bottom bare minimum standard of being minimally opposed to illegal immigration. But as he himself has said he supports legal immigration. Unfortunately.

  • Lord Sidious

    Romney is not a Conservative. He’s racist Rockefeller republican. He did nothing about the illegal Irish in Boston. He hates Mexicans and will not win the election.

    Romney is KKK type.

  • Lord Sidious

    Mitt Romney is an economic vampire. He never created jobs. He destroy companies for a profit. Plus he’s an anti-Mexican bigot.

    • Lord Sidious

      Romney destroyed companies. He shipped the jobs overseas and sole the companies to make a profit. Bain Capital practiced economic vampirism. I have friends in PA and Ohio. Bain Capital is despised there. Obama will crush Romney!

      As for upholding laws, if it was English or Dutch people coming illegally, you wouldn’t be saying crap. Don’t play this game with me. You Nativists hate Mexicans. Be honest about it.

      • Lord Sidious

        Spare me your nativist Hispanophobic crap. The modern Republican Party is just a bunch Crypto Nazis who want to kick Hispanics out of America. That’s why Conservatives bitch about the 1965 Immigration bill. What you really want to say is No spics need apply. Just be honest about your bigiotry and stop with your lw BS.

        The Democrats view us as serfs/slaves. But at least they don’t seek to deport and demonize us. Hispanics will turn out in droves to defeat the Grand Wizard of the KKK Mitt Romney.

        Your ideological cosuins were defeated in 1945, in 2012 you wil lose. Then real Conservatives who are color blind and embrace all cultures will take over the GOP.

        You clowns can back to handling snakes.

      • Lord Sidious

        “Hispanics who want to come here legally can’t because the INS holds off on them because of the numbers of illegal aliens”

        The reason Latinos can’t come here legally is becaseu your hero The Saudi Viceroy George Dumbaya Bush gave perefences to Muslim immigrants. The Islamic scum are your little pets. Latinos, who are part of Western Civilization come here illegally, becasue Muslims are given priority.

        That’s ths real crime. Latinos are given the short end of the stick to please our Islamic enemies.

    • Carney

      Romney created jobs, net. That is, even if you subtract jobs lost as a result of his business decisions (such as layoffs) from total hired, you still end up with tens of thousands on the positive side of the ledger. If facts matter.

      Also, insisting on keeping unproductive unwanted workers employed in money-losing businesses solely for political reasons is not the path to prosperity.

  • Lord Sidious

    Romeny would be a perfect candidate to head up the KKK. He’s just missing the robes and hats!

    • Lord Sidious

      The Democrats are racists as well. They are slicker racists than Republicans. They view Hispanics as serfs. But they don’t demonize and that’s why they get the Hispanic votes. It’s better to be a serf, than thrown in a camp. That’s what the Nativist wing of the GOP plans. First it’s the illegals, then its legal Hispanics.

      We know your game.

      • Lord Sidious

        Race? Ha ha ha ha, the majority of Hispanics are White! You’re the racist assuming I’m some little brown garden worker. I am Lebanese-Argentine and Colombian. Most people don’t even know I’m Latino. I am biologically White, even though you Nativists try to deny it.

        Latino Republicans will fight for our amigo Rick Perry. If you Nativists win this, then we will support Obama out of revenge. This will teach the GOP a lesson, don’t demonize us.

      • Russnet

        Lord Insidious! What a bunch of senseless drivel. You’re the racist.

    • Carney

      If everyone’s a racist, then racism is meaningless.

      If everyone is in the KKK, then accusing people of KKK membership produces yawns.

      That’s what crying wolf does.

  • Russnet

    Well, this post has gone well. The fact that Romney is starting to generate strong emotions is a good sign for him, notwithstanding the fact that much of it is senseless drivel.