Reading Romney’s Mind

April 7th, 2011 at 4:38 pm David Frum | 18 Comments |

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This has been my best week in politics since John McCain lost to Barack Obama.

I face two huge problems: getting nominated and getting elected.

To get nominated, I need to discredit the Tea Party before it can veto me.

To get elected, I need a double dip recession in 2012.

Thanks to Paul Ryan, both these outcomes have just come a big step closer.

Here’s how Ryan helps me win the nomination:

This budget proposal will end in tears, especially if there is a government shutdown tomorrow. The Democrats know that few Americans understand the difference between the 2011 Continuing Resolution and the 2012 budget. The Democrats will pound home the message that Republicans shut down the government so that they can cancel Medicare for everyone under 55, gut Medicaid, and cut taxes for the rich. Ryan is the hero of the party today. Six weeks from now, Republicans will feel about him the way the Confederacy felt about George Pickett six weeks after Gettysburg. Battered and chastened, Republicans will be less resistant to the safe choice demanded by big party donors: i.e., me.

Of course, winning the nomination is the easy part. Incumbent presidents are hard to beat. But they can be beaten if the economy suffers badly enough. And happily for me, there is lots of bad news: rising oil prices for example. Look for a bad economic growth report at the end of April. Monetary policy is exhausted, it’s hard to imagine the Federal Reserve daring a third quantitative easing – harder to imagine the quantitative easing working.

So: fiscal stimulus? No way! Remember, the payroll tax holiday expires December. Do you think House Republicans will agree to renew it? Especially after Obama beats them up all this year over Ryan’s Medicare cuts?  As born-again conservative Donald Trump would say: fuggedboutit. (By the way – thanks Donald, for killing Newt Gingrich’s candidacy. I owe you.) Which means we’ll start 2012 with a big tax increase on every working person – and very possibly a second tumble into recession.

Republicans want tighter monetary policy and tighter fiscal policy. They may get it too. That means recession. And recession means: me.


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18 Comments so far ↓

  • toetyper

    hey mitt.. way to go. just get over the whole baptizing-the-dead thing and youre GOLDEN

    http://www.newsweek.com/2007/10/01/mitt-s-mission.html

    • Carney

      I was braced for a hit piece after reading your juvenile and snide comment, but it turns out that is a very fair and informative article.

  • armstp

    Frum,

    “Of course, winning the nomination is the easy part. Incumbent presidents are hard to beat. But they can be beaten if the economy suffers badly enough. And happily for me, there is lots of bad news: rising oil prices for example. Look for a bad economic growth report at the end of April. Monetary policy is exhausted, it’s hard to imagine the Federal Reserve daring a third quantitative easing – harder to imagine the quantitative easing working.”

    Actually, quite the opposite. There are lots of signs of an accelerating economy. Better jobs number, decent GDP growth, we have hit bottom in housing, people are spending again, a rising stock and bond market, etc. Most economist believe that the higher gas price will only have a minimum impact on the economy.

  • SteveT

    David:

    Good post. Personally for my country I don’t want a double dip recession, but I can see where Romney might. A prolonged government shutdown might just give him one too.

    Depressing.

  • Watusie

    In other words, embracing the fact that what is bad for the country is good for him personally. Given that he is a child of inherited privilege and a member of our moneyed elite, this will not be an unfamiliar sensation.

  • ottovbvs

    Oh boy were’ going to bet the farm on Double Dip recession. I got news for you David and Mitt…there aint’ going to be one. In fact I expect the Dow to be over 13,000 by spring of next year. You’re right about the 2012 budget though, Obama’s going have the Republican party’s guts for garters.

  • gmckee1985

    Romney would probably make the best candidate for us. Trouble is getting through the primary.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    Mitt Romney reminds me of Principal Skinner from the Simpsons, uptight, painfully square and will say anything whatsoever he can to get Republicans to like him.

    The saddest thing is if he can actually run as who he really is and then govern that way, it wouldn’t be bad. He is highly intelligent, would likely be competent as President in the GHWB kind of way, and while he will be utterly forgettable in a generation (except to Mormons who will likely build a monument to him) I am not sure that is that bad.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    Remember when Republicans used to claim Democrats hated the US and wanted us to fail for political purposes?

  • politicalfan

    Is Donald Trump really a Republican (moderate)?

  • Bunker555

    Romney is the creme de la scum of the current crop of GOP candidates. He needs to focus on Independents and not try to coddle Teajihadists. They’re not going to vote for him anyways, so screw them and go for the Independents.

  • TJ Parker

    Let’s read Romney’s mind!

    “How does my hair look? Lookin’ good!”

    I think that’s all that’s in there. Unless you have something for him to read …

    • Carney

      Really? Are you really going to try the “Republicans are stupid” thing on Mitt Romney?

      Did you get a Harvard JD and MBA? Could you average 113% annual rate of return over a 14 year period?

      • TJ Parker

        Nope UC Berkeley math/cs. My husband is the JD.

        On your 2nd point: much better! I retired at 25.

        What has Mitt done lately? He’s a human Petri dish of presidential aspiration. No more. And to be president studies have shown that it’s all type casting, right?

      • Moderate

        @TJ Parker

        Mitt Romney is smarter than you. A lot smarter. Don’t take it personally. He’s smarter than 99%+ of people.

        For you to think that Romney fixates on his hair says much more about you than him.

        • TJ Parker

          LOL. Dude, I’m smarter than 99+% of all people.

          Mitt might be smart, but all his effort goes into preening and posturing … so who’d know? How has he defined himself? He’s the guy running for president. With good hair.

  • Bunker555

    Two dozen wannabees. Trying to do a little analysis to try to measure electability, but can’t find the right metrics. Have to do relative rankings based on:
    - Wackoness
    - Wackiness
    - Hawkishness
    - Money
    - Experience
    - National footprint
    - Backers
    - Frequent Flyer Miles
    - Poll rankings by region
    - Hair
    - Presentation

    Add to list.

  • Gray Area

    “frumnow

    Reading Romney’s Mind

    David Frum April 7th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    As Repubicans edge closer to a shutdown and Democrats get ready to run against the Ryan budget, what’s going through Romney’s head?

    Gee, Mr. Frum, I really don’t know. Have you thought of, maybe, like, asking Mr. Romney that question?

    I’ve heard that some ‘journalists’ actually do that sort of thing.