Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What Florida means

Florida goes for Mitt

Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil's Dictionary, defined "Presidency" as follows: n., "The greased pig in the field game of American politics."  The greased pig has now left the Sunshine state!

Mitt Romney, as predicted by all the polls, won the high stakes winner-take-all primary in Florida yesterday.  Even though only 5% of the electorate has had a chance to vote, it seems to me that the Republican nominee is pretty much decided now.  Game Over!  Super Tuesday goes to the candidate who has the most money and we all know who that is.

The long knives were out for Gingrich last week.  An avalanche of editorial criticism swept his campaign.  His own self-inflicted wounds were the more grievous though. Two mediocre debate performances and pandering to the Florida Space community with crazy talk about the moon becoming the 51st state (Republican leaning or Democrat) helped to sink his chances.  Gingrich was heavily outspent in a large state where media makes a huge difference (Go Lin Broadcasting -- TVL!).

Did the Gingrich challenge make Romney a better more sharply-focussed candidate or merely a more bitter candidate?  Romney won the battle but can he win the war against Obama in the fall?  Romney is very likely to move swiftly to the center especially as the general election nears.  What difference

There are a few major unanswered questions reminding out there for political junkies...

1) Will Obama throw Biden under the bus assuming that Hilary were willing to entertain a VP spot on the ticket?

2) Who will Romney pick for his VP (Rubio perhaps)?

3) How can Romney attract more support than McCain did in 2008?  (A VP from a large swing state like FL, OH or PA might help.)

4)  Will Romney make policy concessions to Paul (as Gingrich tried to do with the gold standard) that could help attract his younger, passionate supporters in the fall?

5)  Will the Senate go Republican, as widely predicted?  Will Republicans retain control of the House?

Romney's greatest selling point in the fall is simply that his election means that the US government may finally be able to get something done, particularly on the budget and fiscal issues.  If a Republican President and a Republican controlled Congress can't move an agenda forward, then they will be out of excuses and the pendulum may swing back again.  An Obama victory in 2012, on the other hand, is a sure recipe for four more years of gridlock with a lame duck President who will never face the voters again.


1 comment:

Adam said...

There is no chance that Romney can attract enough Paul supporters to win the general election. We see no difference between Romney and Obama and we will vote for neither. Independents will recognize that Mitt is merely a whiter Mormon version of Obama and will go with the devil they know versus the devil they don't. Think 2004 - a man who has every Presidential characteristic you could ask for (Kerry), but completely devoid of personality, up against a heavily-criticized but very likable incumbent. Easy win for Obama. That's not a threat or a promise. It's just a fact.