Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is Mitt Romney Really Electable?

Very few Republicans really like Mitt Romney. Yet, he’s the favorite of the Republican Establishment.

The Establishment feels no passion for Mitt, but it is consumed by negative passion for his opponents.

Republican columnists, pundits, and politicians have whipped themselves into a frenzy by what they see as the dire necessity to destroy any candidate who would challenge Mitt.

It’s not because they like Romney. Most of them don’t. But still, they become consumed with mindless passion when they contemplate any other Republican candidate.

It’s a grim spectacle, indeed.

For some time now I have been saying that this is not a good thing. It is making Republicans look bad. It is making Barack Obama look good.

Many commentators have suggested that the shrill tone of the debates, the wall-to-wall nastiness will serve a higher purpose. They believe that it will make their candidate stronger.

They are wrong. The tone of the debates and the brutality of the attacks on everyone but Romney are making the Republicans look like they are emotionally incontinent.

If you want to govern the nation you have to look like you can govern your own party. As of now, Republicans don't look like they can. 

One might even ask whether something about the putative front runner, Mitt Romney, provokes internecine party warfare?

Today, blogger John Hawkins debunks the myth of Mitt Romney’s electability.

To my knowledge no one else has addressed the question as seriously. After reading Hawkins  one wonders whether Republican party elders have simply been duped into accepting, uncritically, the PR-generated notion that Mitt Romney is the most electable candidate.

Hawkins offers an excellent refutation of the notion of Mitt Romney’s electability. His column is well worth a read.


David Foster said...

I think Mitt Romney would be ***infinitely*** preferable to Barack Obama as President, and indeed I think if we don't get rid of Obama this time around we may never have another chance to restore rational governance in America.

But I do have concerns about Romney's electability. He does not have the gift for explaining complex matters simply and persuasively; he talks like a PowerPoint presentation and not a particularly good one at that.

The Bain Capital thing is also an issue. We know that sometimes it's necessary to lay people off, close facilities, etc....but there are some pretty knowledgeable and pro-capitalist people who believe Bain has been too quick on the trigger and too trendy in its assumptions about manufacturing.

Mike said...

The irony is Romney, the "safe" candidate is actually the riskiest. What happens to the republican party if he loses. A lot of GOP bigwigs have spent a lot of capital on making him the candidate. I can appreciate their motivation - Obama MUST be defeated and Romney seems to have the best chance, so they will stop at nothing to make it happen.

If he loses, the base will likely desert en masse to some yet to be formed new party on the assumption that the republicans cannot win when it counts.

Perhaps we can call ourselves Whigs.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

As it happens, Romney has never really been attacked by his opponents. So we don't know how he will do under attack.

And 75% of the Republican electorate wants someone else. A candidate of the 25% does not look like he is going to inspire Republicans to vote.

An anti-Tea Party candidate appeals to the Establishment but in the last national election the Tea Party-led Republicans did very well.

Of course, there's also the possibility that Romney wins and governs from the center. He could decide to try to make peace with the Democrats in order to overcome partisanship. He could be a manager, not a leader.

And let's not forget that he has no experience in the federal government.
It's very difficult to take charge of a mammoth institution when you have no prior experience in it.