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Romney

Let’s talk presidential politics for a minute. Here’s Josh Marshall on Romney’s liabilities:

1st, he changes his ideology about every cycle and his actual policies predilections seem much more moderate than what flies in today’s GOP. In other words, it’s hard for him to shake the perception that he’s a weather vane who doesn’t have any real political principles. 2nd, and more devastating, the terror of ‘Obamacare’ is based on the legislation Mitt pushed through in Massachusetts. It’s his signature piece of legislation. And going into 2012, that’s a big, big problem.

To overcome those liabilities, Mitt has to do everything in his power to avoid a scenario in which he’s the ‘moderate guy’ in the 2012 primary season against some other person who ends up as the Tea Party / hard right standard bearer, whether that’s Palin or maybe Huckabee or whoever else. And so you have him at every point needing to stake out the most hard right position available — in this case, proposing that we get rid of our system of unemployment insurance since, in his telling, unemployment insurance promotes laziness.

What interests me is what happens when the Obama-McConnell compromise passes Congress (as I fully expect it to) and New START gets ratified by the Senate (which I think is likely to happen, as the votes appear to be there). That will be two major Romney-opposed bills getting passed right before he announces a presidential bid–bills passed with substantial Republican support. He’s the GOP’s frontrunner at this point, the closest thing to a Republican Party leader there is, and he will likely be suffering back-to-back defeats on high and medium profile issues. Though, now that I think about it, I wonder if John McCain’s surprising cooperation in passing the treaty is a factor of enduring resentment toward Romney’s 2008 campaign tactics and a desire to undercut Romney. It’s not like McCain isn’t known to try to spite people who make him mad or “best” him in some way. At this point, though, I don’t care. I’ll take it.

The natural question after these votes, if they occur as I predict they will, will be: what influence does Mitt Romney actually have over Republicans in Congress? If the GOP doesn’t give a shit about what he says about the issues and does its thing anyway, does he really have solid standing among Republicans? Can he even be considered their presumptive leader? Republicans usually go for the next guy in line when choosing presidents, but that’s because that’s who the elites usually pick. And they’re not affording Romney the sort of deference you’d expect if they were really behind him.

Which is fine by me, since I agree with Josh’s conclusion: “All that said, while I’d bet against Romney beating President Obama in 2012, he’s probably the only one of the current crop who even stands a serious chance.” I’m genuinely torn between wanting Romney to be the GOP nominee because his mind is the mind of an executive (as is his vanity, which would probably make him do a decent job) and he probably wouldn’t destroy the world if elected, or the admittedly ignoble sentiment of wanting him to waste another $20 million and fail again to buy the nomination, while leaving some easy-to-beat wingnut in his place. But the latter is possibly an unnecessary risk. It looks like those are the possibilities to me, but I personally think that  a third option–an Obama-Mitch Daniels election, however unlikely–would be good for the country because they might actually try to have a conversation and move the country forward, instead of rehashing the vituperative culture war crap of 2008 (though, to be honest, I had similar thoughts about McCain back then). Which is why the conservative media-industrial complex will try to absolutely destroy Daniels if he gets in the ring and looks formidable: an actual civil conversation could put them all out of a job. Romney’s prospective campaign would probably be a rehash of his 2008 RNC speech, which would be just fine with Roger Ailes. But Josh is right–he has no other real way to make this work.

Romney

Let’s talk presidential politics for a minute. Here’s Josh Marshall on Romney’s liabilities:

1st, he changes his ideology about every cycle and his actual policies predilections seem much more moderate than what flies in today’s GOP. In other words, it’s hard for him to shake the perception that he’s a weather vane who doesn’t have any real political principles. 2nd, and more devastating, the terror of ‘Obamacare’ is based on the legislation Mitt pushed through in Massachusetts. It’s his signature piece of legislation. And going into 2012, that’s a big, big problem.

To overcome those liabilities, Mitt has to do everything in his power to avoid a scenario in which he’s the ‘moderate guy’ in the 2012 primary season against some other person who ends up as the Tea Party / hard right standard bearer, whether that’s Palin or maybe Huckabee or whoever else. And so you have him at every point needing to stake out the most hard right position available — in this case, proposing that we get rid of our system of unemployment insurance since, in his telling, unemployment insurance promotes laziness.

What interests me is what happens when the Obama-McConnell compromise passes Congress (as I fully expect it to) and New START gets ratified by the Senate (which I think is likely to happen, as the votes appear to be there). That will be two major Romney-opposed bills getting passed right before he announces a presidential bid–bills passed with substantial Republican support. He’s the GOP’s frontrunner at this point, the closest thing to a Republican Party leader there is, and he will likely be suffering back-to-back defeats on high and medium profile issues. Though, now that I think about it, I wonder if John McCain’s surprising cooperation in passing the treaty is a factor of enduring resentment toward Romney’s 2008 campaign tactics and a desire to undercut Romney. It’s not like McCain isn’t known to try to spite people who make him mad or “best” him in some way. At this point, though, I don’t care. I’ll take it.

The natural question after these votes, if they occur as I predict they will, will be: what influence does Mitt Romney actually have over Republicans in Congress? If the GOP doesn’t give a shit about what he says about the issues and does its thing anyway, does he really have solid standing among Republicans? Can he even be considered their presumptive leader? Republicans usually go for the next guy in line when choosing presidents, but that’s because that’s who the elites usually pick. And they’re not affording Romney the sort of deference you’d expect if they were really behind him.

Which is fine by me, since I agree with Josh’s conclusion: “All that said, while I’d bet against Romney beating President Obama in 2012, he’s probably the only one of the current crop who even stands a serious chance.” I’m genuinely torn between wanting Romney to be the GOP nominee because his mind is the mind of an executive (as is his vanity, which would probably make him do a decent job) and he probably wouldn’t destroy the world if elected, or the admittedly ignoble sentiment of wanting him to waste another $20 million and fail again to buy the nomination, while leaving some easy-to-beat wingnut in his place. But the latter is possibly an unnecessary risk. It looks like those are the possibilities to me, but I personally think that  a third option–an Obama-Mitch Daniels election, however unlikely–would be good for the country because they might actually try to have a conversation and move the country forward, instead of rehashing the vituperative culture war crap of 2008 (though, to be honest, I had similar thoughts about McCain back then). Which is why the conservative media-industrial complex will try to absolutely destroy Daniels if he gets in the ring and looks formidable: an actual civil conversation could put them all out of a job. Romney’s prospective campaign would probably be a rehash of his 2008 RNC speech, which would be just fine with Roger Ailes. But Josh is right–he has no other real way to make this work.

Romney

Let’s talk presidential politics for a minute. Here’s Josh Marshall on Romney’s liabilities:

1st, he changes his ideology about every cycle and his actual policies predilections seem much more moderate than what flies in today’s GOP. In other words, it’s hard for him to shake the perception that he’s a weather vane who doesn’t have any real political principles. 2nd, and more devastating, the terror of ‘Obamacare’ is based on the legislation Mitt pushed through in Massachusetts. It’s his signature piece of legislation. And going into 2012, that’s a big, big problem.

To overcome those liabilities, Mitt has to do everything in his power to avoid a scenario in which he’s the ‘moderate guy’ in the 2012 primary season against some other person who ends up as the Tea Party / hard right standard bearer, whether that’s Palin or maybe Huckabee or whoever else. And so you have him at every point needing to stake out the most hard right position available — in this case, proposing that we get rid of our system of unemployment insurance since, in his telling, unemployment insurance promotes laziness.

What interests me is what happens when the Obama-McConnell compromise passes Congress (as I fully expect it to) and New START gets ratified by the Senate (which I think is likely to happen, as the votes appear to be there). That will be two major Romney-opposed bills getting passed right before he announces a presidential bid–bills passed with substantial Republican support. He’s the GOP’s frontrunner at this point, the closest thing to a Republican Party leader there is, and he will likely be suffering back-to-back defeats on high and medium profile issues. Though, now that I think about it, I wonder if John McCain’s surprising cooperation in passing the treaty is a factor of enduring resentment toward Romney’s 2008 campaign tactics and a desire to undercut Romney. It’s not like McCain isn’t known to try to spite people who make him mad or “best” him in some way. At this point, though, I don’t care. I’ll take it.

The natural question after these votes, if they occur as I predict they will, will be: what influence does Mitt Romney actually have over Republicans in Congress? If the GOP doesn’t give a shit about what he says about the issues and does its thing anyway, does he really have solid standing among Republicans? Can he even be considered their presumptive leader? Republicans usually go for the next guy in line when choosing presidents, but that’s because that’s who the elites usually pick. And they’re not affording Romney the sort of deference you’d expect if they were really behind him.

Which is fine by me, since I agree with Josh’s conclusion: “All that said, while I’d bet against Romney beating President Obama in 2012, he’s probably the only one of the current crop who even stands a serious chance.” I’m genuinely torn between wanting Romney to be the GOP nominee because his mind is the mind of an executive (as is his vanity, which would probably make him do a decent job) and he probably wouldn’t destroy the world if elected, or the admittedly ignoble sentiment of wanting him to waste another $20 million and fail again to buy the nomination, while leaving some easy-to-beat wingnut in his place. But the latter is possibly an unnecessary risk. It looks like those are the possibilities to me, but I personally think that  a third option–an Obama-Mitch Daniels election, however unlikely–would be good for the country because they might actually try to have a conversation and move the country forward, instead of rehashing the vituperative culture war crap of 2008 (though, to be honest, I had similar thoughts about McCain back then). Which is why the conservative media-industrial complex will try to absolutely destroy Daniels if he gets in the ring and looks formidable: an actual civil conversation could put them all out of a job. Romney’s prospective campaign would probably be a rehash of his 2008 RNC speech, which would be just fine with Roger Ailes. But Josh is right–he has no other real way to make this work.

Romney

Let’s talk presidential politics for a minute. Here’s Josh Marshall on Romney’s liabilities:

1st, he changes his ideology about every cycle and his actual policies predilections seem much more moderate than what flies in today’s GOP. In other words, it’s hard for him to shake the perception that he’s a weather vane who doesn’t have any real political principles. 2nd, and more devastating, the terror of ‘Obamacare’ is based on the legislation Mitt pushed through in Massachusetts. It’s his signature piece of legislation. And going into 2012, that’s a big, big problem.

To overcome those liabilities, Mitt has to do everything in his power to avoid a scenario in which he’s the ‘moderate guy’ in the 2012 primary season against some other person who ends up as the Tea Party / hard right standard bearer, whether that’s Palin or maybe Huckabee or whoever else. And so you have him at every point needing to stake out the most hard right position available — in this case, proposing that we get rid of our system of unemployment insurance since, in his telling, unemployment insurance promotes laziness.

What interests me is what happens when the Obama-McConnell compromise passes Congress (as I fully expect it to) and New START gets ratified by the Senate (which I think is likely to happen, as the votes appear to be there). That will be two major Romney-opposed bills getting passed right before he announces a presidential bid–bills passed with substantial Republican support. He’s the GOP’s frontrunner at this point, the closest thing to a Republican Party leader there is, and he will likely be suffering back-to-back defeats on high and medium profile issues. Though, now that I think about it, I wonder if John McCain’s surprising cooperation in passing the treaty is a factor of enduring resentment toward Romney’s 2008 campaign tactics and a desire to undercut Romney. It’s not like McCain isn’t known to try to spite people who make him mad or “best” him in some way. At this point, though, I don’t care. I’ll take it.

The natural question after these votes, if they occur as I predict they will, will be: what influence does Mitt Romney actually have over Republicans in Congress? If the GOP doesn’t give a shit about what he says about the issues and does its thing anyway, does he really have solid standing among Republicans? Can he even be considered their presumptive leader? Republicans usually go for the next guy in line when choosing presidents, but that’s because that’s who the elites usually pick. And they’re not affording Romney the sort of deference you’d expect if they were really behind him.

Which is fine by me, since I agree with Josh’s conclusion: “All that said, while I’d bet against Romney beating President Obama in 2012, he’s probably the only one of the current crop who even stands a serious chance.” I’m genuinely torn between wanting Romney to be the GOP nominee because his mind is the mind of an executive (as is his vanity, which would probably make him do a decent job) and he probably wouldn’t destroy the world if elected, or the admittedly ignoble sentiment of wanting him to waste another $20 million and fail again to buy the nomination, while leaving some easy-to-beat wingnut in his place. But the latter is possibly an unnecessary risk. It looks like those are the possibilities to me, but I personally think that  a third option–an Obama-Mitch Daniels election, however unlikely–would be good for the country because they might actually try to have a conversation and move the country forward, instead of rehashing the vituperative culture war crap of 2008 (though, to be honest, I had similar thoughts about McCain back then). Which is why the conservative media-industrial complex will try to absolutely destroy Daniels if he gets in the ring and looks formidable: an actual civil conversation could put them all out of a job. Romney’s prospective campaign would probably be a rehash of his 2008 RNC speech, which would be just fine with Roger Ailes. But Josh is right–he has no other real way to make this work.

Romney

Let’s talk presidential politics for a minute. Here’s Josh Marshall on Romney’s liabilities:
1st, he changes his ideology about every cycle and his actual policies predilections seem much more moderate than what flies in today’s GOP. In other words, it’s hard for him to shake the perception that he’s a weather vane who doesn’t have any real political principles. 2nd, and more devastating, the terror of ‘Obamacare’ is based on the legislation Mitt pushed through in Massachusetts. It’s his signature piece of legislation. And going into 2012, that’s a big, big problem. To overcome those liabilities, Mitt has to do everything in his power to avoid a scenario in which he’s the ‘moderate guy’ in the 2012 primary season against some other person who ends up as the Tea Party / hard right standard bearer, whether that’s Palin or maybe Huckabee or whoever else. And so you have him at every point needing to stake out the most hard right position available — in this case, proposing that we get rid of our system of unemployment insurance since, in his telling, unemployment insurance promotes laziness.
What interests me is what happens when the Obama-McConnell compromise passes Congress (as I fully expect it to) and New START gets ratified by the Senate (which I think is likely to happen, as the votes appear to be there). That will be two major Romney-opposed bills getting passed right before he announces a presidential bid–bills passed with substantial Republican support. He’s the GOP’s frontrunner at this point, the closest thing to a Republican Party leader there is, and he will likely be suffering back-to-back defeats on high and medium profile issues. Though, now that I think about it, I wonder if John McCain’s surprising cooperation in passing the treaty is a factor of enduring resentment toward Romney’s 2008 campaign tactics and a desire to undercut Romney. It’s not like McCain isn’t known to try to spite people who make him mad or “best” him in some way. At this point, though, I don’t care. I’ll take it. The natural question after these votes, if they occur as I predict they will, will be: what influence does Mitt Romney actually have over Republicans in Congress? If the GOP doesn’t give a shit about what he says about the issues and does its thing anyway, does he really have solid standing among Republicans? Can he even be considered their presumptive leader? Republicans usually go for the next guy in line when choosing presidents, but that’s because that’s who the elites usually pick. And they’re not affording Romney the sort of deference you’d expect if they were really behind him. Which is fine by me, since I agree with Josh’s conclusion: “All that said, while I’d bet against Romney beating President Obama in 2012, he’s probably the only one of the current crop who even stands a serious chance.” I’m genuinely torn between wanting Romney to be the GOP nominee because his mind is the mind of an executive (as is his vanity, which would probably make him do a decent job) and he probably wouldn’t destroy the world if elected, or the admittedly ignoble sentiment of wanting him to waste another $20 million and fail again to buy the nomination, while leaving some easy-to-beat wingnut in his place. But the latter is possibly an unnecessary risk. It looks like those are the possibilities to me, but I personally think that  a third option–an Obama-Mitch Daniels election, however unlikely–would be good for the country because they might actually try to have a conversation and move the country forward, instead of rehashing the vituperative culture war crap of 2008 (though, to be honest, I had similar thoughts about McCain back then). Which is why the conservative media-industrial complex will try to absolutely destroy Daniels if he gets in the ring and looks formidable: an actual civil conversation could put them all out of a job. Romney’s prospective campaign would probably be a rehash of his 2008 RNC speech, which would be just fine with Roger Ailes. But Josh is right–he has no other real way to make this work.
Like many of us, Tyler Cowen has become sick of blogging this topic—but decided it’s time to revisit.
Gherald filed this under:  

Like many of us, Tyler Cowen has become sick of blogging this topic—but decided it’s time to revisit.

Gherald filed this under: