The GOP’s Race To The Bottom
Succinct and to the point.
Rick should scat.
Mitt Romney needs to be left alone to limp across the finish line, so he can devote his full time and attention to losing to President Obama.
Maureen Dowd is right, but it won’t happen, at least not now. Rick isn’t about to scat anywhere. He tasted victory in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota and isn’t about to give up his quest for establishing Christian Taliban rule in the U.S. – a place where he dreams of one day telling his grandchildren how he, the Elliot Ness of American morality, single-handedly took down contraceptives, universities, gays and the women’s vote and made America clean and pure once more.
Ricky is not well.
As for Romney, nothing much will change. He is who he is, silver spoon and all, and there’s not much he can do about it. He has no idea what life without wealth entails. This is why he can nonchalantly mock Daytona racing fans for sporting plastic ponchos by saying, “I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks.”
Was that a terribly condescending remark to make to someone who does not happen to have $250 million in the bank? Yes, of course it was. Was he attempting to be condescending? I don’t think so. Romney is simply a clueless rich guy who interprets the world and all he finds in it by looking through the gold-tinted glasses life handed him at birth.
Mitt Romney cannot understand why everyone doesn’t own a number of Burberry trench coats like he does. In his world it’s not at all complicated. One simply pulls out their American Express Centurion black card and…
On Tuesday, after outspending his opponent by 2-1, Mitt Romney managed to win his home state by four points. That’s a win. But it’s a win that makes Romney look weak, not strong.
The question with Romney, at this point, is whether he’s a strong general-election candidate who is ill-suited for the peculiar dynamics of modern-Republican primaries, or whether he’s a weak general-election candidate whose vulnerabilities are being exposed in the Republican primaries.
One way to answer that is through polls. The latest Politico/George Washington University poll, for instance, finds, “Romney is bloodied after nine contests, five of which he has lost. Only 33 percent of independents view him favorably, compared with 51 percent who see him in an unfavorable light. In a head-to-head match-up against Obama among independents, Romney now trails 49 percent to 37 percent.” Losing ground among independents suggests a real weakness in the general election. But it might be meaningless. Those independents might simply be reacting to the primary, and they’ll come around when Romney transitions to his general-election campaign.
But that might not happen anytime soon. Another way of presenting the outcome in Michigan is that Santorum challenged Romney in his home state, got outspent by 2-1, and still only lost by four points. If Romney won in a way that made him look weak, Santorum lost in a way that made him look strong. It’s not the sort of a result that leads an overperforming longshot to drop out of the race.
At the same time, Romney was right in his victory speech. “We didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough and that’s all that counts,” he said. His advisers might have preferred if he’d omitted that unusually honest look into the dynamics of the campaign. But Romney did win by enough. He remains the frontrunner. He remains strong enough to dissuade any new entrants. Which means the status quo continues. Romney vs. Santorum. The Republican Party will continue to have nowhere else to turn and independent voters will continue to see a side of Romney they don’t much like. You can argue that Michigan produced three kinds of winners last night. Romney, who didn’t lose. Santorum, who almost won. And the Obama campaign, which gets to sit back and watch this primary go on for that much longer.