A few last words on Mitt

January 13, 2012

… at least for now.

To sum up: Mitt seems to think of  himself as the kind of candidate who dominated Republican politics in the era from McKinley to Hoover: one who believes, as Coolidge said, that “the business of America is business.” I could also cite the Eisenhower cabinet member who said “What’s good for General Motors is good for the United States,” except that Romney’s position on the auto industry bailout needs some interpretation…

Unfortunately for his prospects, no Republican has won the Presidency since 1928 as a pure business-first candidate. Eisenhower won as a moderate who accepted the New Deal; Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes won by appealing to the sorts of sentiment that McKinley disdained and let Bryan represent, the fear (aggravated by the events of the 1960s) of urbanisation and cosmopolitanism and immorality among the young…

The closest thing since the Depression to a GOP national victory based on economic issues was 1980; but Carter did not run as FDR, nor Reagan as Hoover. Reagan won on an economic platform that his running mate, a far more traditional Republican, had previously derided as “Voodoo.”

If in the course of the year the economy starts looking so bad that Romney can run by just pointing at it, and not going into his own ideas of what to do about it, he may well win the Presidency. If not, probably not.

In days to come I plan to blog more regularly than I’ve done recently. I’ll look in on the campaign again from time to time, but will continue to address my broad range of interests.

Thanks for looking in!

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