Romney in ’12?

September 17, 2011

My friend John Burciaga has posted – here, and here – some excellent reasons why Mitt Romney should be the Republican party’s nominee for President, for the good of the party and the country.

It is not however clear to me that these reasons will persuade a majority of Republican primary and caucus participants.

Mitt does have a natural appeal to a large part of the party’s base: that part which is most concerned with economic policy, and is impressed mainly by a candidate’s business experience. In the 2008 primaries he did well in the northernmost states. (Also wherever there is a large concentration of Mormons.) But will this be enough to win? It seems to me that among the grass roots of the party the business-minded are outnumbered by the social/religious conservatives, who have a strong distaste for Romney because he clearly isn’t one of them – not only because of his Mormonism (evangelicals generally don’t consider him a “Christian”) but because he never particularly supported their issues until he started running for national office.

Bachmann may have been a flash in the pan, but Perry has much more solid credentials, political preferences aside. He is after all the governor of a large and prosperous state, the longest continuously serving governor in the country (someone recently pointed out that he’s the only current governor who was in office on 9/11/01). And while his views on many subjects may seem way out to people like me and most of my friends, they aren’t that far from the mainstream in today’s GOP. John expects the grass roots of the party to be overcome by a wave of (well, what seems to us to be) good sense; if that were the way it worked, we could have gotten a President Romney back in the 1960’s… Of course a lot can happen between now and next year’s convention, but as of now, I see no compelling reason not to regard Perry as the front-runner for the nomination.

Over the next few days I may write some about how I see the present situation in historical context; I think I have some interesting quirky stuff to say.




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