Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Even though the outcome doesn't seem surprising because the polls
started revealing the likely outcome a few weeks ago, yet we should be
surprised that Romney won.  We should also be surprised that Santorum rose so high,
but in my opinion, he is just picking up left-over votes in
Iowa. No one expected this outcome, including Romney's people, a month ago.
Romney's campaign was, rightly in my mind, until about four or five weeks
ago, willing to give up Iowa. Then they saw an opening, in part
created by the Gingrich decline, and moved into it whole hog, a great
tactical move that will allow him to take New Hampshire by storm. And he should continue to grow in strength from now on. His last real battle will be in South Carolina, where Santorum will give him a bit of a run, but he then will fade, for he can only get so far
picking up Huckabee voters. And Ron Paul will fall into his more or
less natural 10 to 15 percent. The only surprise now will be if Romney
doesn't become the Republican nominee.  I also do not think it is a wise
argument to assert that Romney has a low ceiling problem. That ceiling will 
be overcome as the focus turns to him and he is allowed to make the case that he is a conservative; because he is, that shouldn't be difficult.  If I were him I would now focus entirely on Obama and how he differs.  The only real problem in his rhetoric is health care.  He should come out squarely against Obamacare, explain why he wants to repeal it, and stay away from talking about his Massachusetts program.

There is plenty of good commentary on the Iowa outcome and what it means. Go to NRO and 
Categories > Elections

Discussions - 5 Comments

The supposed "low ceiling" has much to do with the large field. So with (1) Bachmann out, (2) Perry unlikely to stay in much past South Carolina (given Santorum's boomlet, which will draw some votes from Perry), (3) Gingrich cratering, (4) Ron Paul regressing to his statistical mean (or worse), and (5) Romney's imminent clear plurality victory in New Hampshire, Romney will have no problem winning the GOP battle royale. All the more so if he gets more than 50% of the NH vote, which is possible--we'll see what the post-Iowa polls say soon enough.

Pete is right about Romney's tactical advantages, and Lucas is right about the large field. Romney is likely to prevail in New Hampshire, but South Carolina and Florida will be the real tests.

Peter, Thanks for one of the more sober assessments of Romney and his place in the race. Also a nice point about the tactical execution of his campaign (something most analysts seem to have missed) that indicates good things regrding his (and his campaign's) potential capacity for a matchup against Obama.

It's been said before that if the race is about the Republican candidate President Obama will be reelected; if it's about President Obama the GOP candidate will win. I believe the reluctant but steadily increasing support Mitt Romney is receiving is due to the Republican electorate believing that and turning to Romney as the one least likely to shoot himself in the foot and to focus the spotlight on himself rather than the reigning Commander in Chief.

"That ceiling will
be overcome as the focus turns to him and he is allowed to make the case that he is a conservative; because he is, that shouldn't be difficult."

Interesting to see a hardcore right-winger (Prof. Schramm) who has spoken supportively at Tea Party rallies, who has described Glenn Beck as "informative," "inspiring," as someone who "tells it like it is" and "cuts through the fog" - now describing Mitt Romney as a conservative.

Googling Romney and RINO together returns over 2 million results. Here's one from the fringe publication Forbes:

"Romney assured Massachusetts voters running for the Senate in 1994 that he did not want to go back Reaganomics. He was one of the few Republicans that year to refuse to sign on to Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America. He was also one of the few Republicans to lose that year.

True enough, even today he is promising not to take America back to pro-growth Reaganomics. Cowed by President Obama’s class warfare rhetoric, Romney promises to eliminate taxes on capital gains, interest, and dividends, only for middle income Americans. He says he would do that because they were the one’s most hurt by the recession, not the wealthy.

But effective tax policy does not distribute tax cuts based on who “needs” a tax cut the most. That is Obama neo-socialist class rhetoric. Effective tax policy enacts tax cuts that will do the most to promote economic growth and prosperity.

That is what Reagan did in cutting tax rates across the board for everybody, including the wealthy who have the most resources to invest. That is what the middle class and working people actually need most, cutting tax rates that will promote their jobs, higher wages and personal prosperity. But Romney the establishment businessman does not seem to understand this, and certainly feels, like the Bush I Republicans, that he cannot explain or defend this to the public."

and here's another:

examiner dot com/conservative-in-national/mitt-romney-rino-or-conservative

Thomas Frank nails it once again:

"You say Romney is an unprincipled faker. Fair enough -- he is. He’s so plastic he’s almost animatronic. But have you looked in the mirror recently? Aren’t you the ones who fall for it every time Fox News wheels out some Washington hack to confuse this or that corporate issue with the sacred cause of freedom or states rights or man’s inalienable right to mine uranium in his backyard? Aren’t you the ones who thought that Glenn Beck’s tears were markers of emotional sincerity? And for Pete’s sake, your populist Tea Party movement was actually launched from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade!

I know, I know: for almost three years now you’ve dazzled the world with your proclamations that we’re being dragged into “tyranny,” that the country is being “destroyed,” that America needs to be “saved” -- and now here comes Mitt, with his fondness for workaday compromise, ruining your carefully contrived atmosphere of panic.

That must be disappointing, but don’t lose the faith! Give the man credit: he has tried. He’s no stranger to the core Tea Party myth of the noble businessman persecuted by big government. Indeed, at the Conservative Political Action Congress in 2009, he opened his talk as a stand-up comic this way: “I gotta get through this speech before federal officials come here and arrest me for practicing capitalism.”

Meanwhile, he has the perfect Tea Party sense of social class. A centimillionaire who made his pile as a venture capitalist, Romney has both deplored class warfare -- meaning, certain criticisms of Wall Street -- and practiced it, taunting President Obama as a modern version of Marie ("let them eat cake") Antoinette.

There’s no contradiction in any of this, either for him or you. When someone has made his way in life via academia, like the president, he is, of course, a snob, and part of the ruling elite. When, on the other hand, a person’s multi-millions were visited upon him by open-market actions directed from the C-suite, he is automatically a man of the people, a horny-handed son of toil. In fact, Romney takes this kind of market populism a step farther than you ordinarily dare: corporations, he has famously announced, are themselves people.

And keep in mind that, with Mitt Romney, venture capitalist, carrying your banner in 2012, you will finally get to submit your capsized vision of social class to the verdict of the people -- the actual flesh-and-blood people, that is, not the corporate “people” who make up the S&P 500. You will get to defend exactly the sort of “person” your movement has longed to defend since it was birthed by a CNBC reporter almost three years ago to the cheers of a bunch of derivatives traders in Chicago."

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