The Relative Comment

soothing waves of relativity

Red State says Romney will lose to Obama and destroy conservatism.

with 2 comments

I don’t much agree with what gets written at the bog Red State. We do not see eye-to-eye, to say the least. Today, however, there is a long, despondent post from Erik Erickson that I think is worth a look.

It has been written much by many that Barack Obama will not win re-election in 2012. That given the unemployment numbers and the continued despairing state of the economy, and thus the populace, President Obama’s likelihood of winning are at best weak, and at worst impossible.

I think this undercuts several important issues of the 2012 campaign, as I see them (some of this is just gut political instinct, which is, to say the least, unreliable):

  1. It is very difficult to beat an incumbent president.
  2. November 2012 is a year away. Which means there is time for the economy to move in the right direction, and unemployment numbers to move in the right direction. These things don’t have to be resolved, just trending the right direction.
  3. Even if they are not, people still seem to like Barack Obama, or at least they don’t seem to dislike him (notwithstanding kooks who question birth and religious affiliation). He may not be the most popular president, but he is not terribly unpopular. That will matter, a lot, especially if…
  4. Mitt Romney will be the nominee. People can’t seem to get behind Mitt Romney.
  5. Finally, Barack Obama is one accomplished campaigner. 2008 will never be recreated, but 2012 will still provide Obama the opportunity to do what he does best: reach out to people, make speeches, raise money.
This is not to say that Obama will win. But the idea that we can already decide that he has lost is purely insane. Which brings us back to Red State. In today’s piece, titled Mitt Romney as the Nominee: Conservatism Dies and Barack Obama Wins, Erickson (as you can probably guess) sees a bleak outcome for the GOP in 2012. He makes a pretty compelling case for why Mitt Romney will be the GOP candidate in 2012, and why Romney cannot beat President Obama. This does not mean, of course, that Mitt Romney will not be the next president. There is certainly a real chance that will happen. But having conservatives like Erickson saying things like this will make it a whole lot harder.

Why Mitt Romney Will Not Beat Barack Obama

You’d think that given the economy, jobs, and the present angst about the direction of the country that the GOP would have an easy path to victory. You would be wrong.
You forget the electoral college. The vote is coming down to a handful of states and Barack Obama still maintains the advantage of incumbency and not terribly terrible polling in those swing states.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a man devoid of any principles other than getting himself elected. As much as the American public does not like Barack Obama, they loath a man so fueled with ambition that he will say or do anything to get himself elected. Mitt Romney is that man.
I’ve been reading the 200 pages of single spaced opposition research from the John McCain campaign on Mitt Romney. There is no issue I can find on which Mitt Romney has not taken both sides. He is neither liberal nor conservative. He is simply unprincipled. The man has no core beliefs other than in himself. You want him to be tough? He’ll be tough. You want him to be sensitive? He’ll be sensitive. You want him to be for killing the unborn? He’ll go all in on abortion rights until he wants to run for an office where it is not in his advantage.
Along the way, he’ll drop lots of coin to grease the skids for himself. Mitt Romney is the silly putty of politicians — press on him real hard and he’ll take on whatever image you press into him until the next group starts pressing.
Republican billionaires have a fantastic track record of getting Republican opinion leaders to support them and an even better track record at losing elections. Mitt Romney will be no different.
To beat Barack Obama, a candidate must paint a bold contrast with the Democrats on their policies. When Mitt Romney tries, Barack Obama will be able to show that just the other day Mitt Romney held exactly the opposite position as the one he holds today.


Written by Christopher ZF

November 8, 2011 at 14:01

2 Responses

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  1. I think this analysis has a lot of merit. I’m not a Romney fan at all, and I do think he is the prime example of a looking out for number 1. However, there aren’t a lot of good options out there. Who does Erickson want? Perry? The mythical principled conservative? The GOP has done a good job of maintaining ideological purity, but there is no perfect a candidate.

    Therefore, I don’t buy the contrast argument. What bold contrast is he talking about? Maybe it will work out that way, but I have my doubts.

    redhead in rapid

    November 9, 2011 at 10:25

  2. I guess the contrast is the consistency. The idea that Americans would rather have a principled president from the other party than a flip-flopper from their own party. Right? Even if you are a Repub, you wouldn’t support Romney because he lacks the core principled purity of conservatism.

    And yes, that is a totally unreasonable expectation for any candidate, except maybe Ron Paul.

    But I think there is traction on the flip-flop accusation that can lose elections. I mean, just ask John Kerry, who lost to a not-particularly popular president, at least in part because he was successfully branded a flip-flopper.
    That, and that windsurfing picture.


    November 9, 2011 at 11:48

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