Friday, February 10, 2012

Greying in Romney’s Support for Republican Nomination: When Santorum wins Colorado Primary, Missouri and Minnesota Caucuses?

Keywords or Terms: Republican Nomination Competition; Colorado primary; Missouri and Minnesota Caucuses; Conservative Grassroots; Iowa; New Hampshire; South Carolina; Florida; Nevada; Mitt Romney; Rick Santorum ; Ron Paul; Newt Gingrich;  Anti-Romney candidate; Tea Party; Affordable Care Act; Romneycare; David letterman’ Republican Conservatives.

When an aspirant enters into competition with other candidates for nomination to be a National Party’s flag bearer, he seeks to dominate or become the dominant force in the contest; not to be dominated. The most recent results of two caucuses and one primary in the Republican contest in three states produced an exasperating result for the Republican front runner, Mitt Romney. If there was any doubt that there is or are, thriving group(s) in the Republican Party, who do not want Mitt Romney to be the Republican Party flag bearer, the primary and caucuses results from Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota probably laid that doubt to rest.  

After the Florida primary landslide result for Mitt Romney, many political pundits singled Candidate Romney as the dominant force and probably the only candidate with financing, nationwide organization and strategy to win the nomination. However, with the recent trouncing of candidate Romney by Santorum, there is probably a huge question mark, if Romney's candidacy has drawn enough support, to claim to be the only candidate that can carry the party’s flag for a worthy contest against the Democrats. Santorum’s triumph over Romney dictates that social conservatives and probably the extreme right have a huge say in who represents the Republican Party come November, 2012. No matter how you slice or dice the recent results from these three states, Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota, the presumption that candidate Romney is a forgone conclusion to be the Republican flag bearer, is probably in doubt.

Why are other Republican aspirants as competitive, if not more competitive by now, against establishment candidate Romney? Romney currently has about 102 delegates in his kitty. To begin with, that one hundred and two delegates prize is a long way from One thousand one hundred and ninety one delegates; the required delegates to win the honor to represent the Republicans in November. When the initial contest began in Iowa, many observers saw a good challenge and thought strongly of Romney’s candidacy and a better chance for him being the only candidate worthy of note. Then came the neck to neck competition between Santorum and Romney, which ultimately resulted in a belated win for Santorum. Followed is the South Carolina brawl, where Newt Gingrich outclassed the establishment candidate Romney; followed by some successes in New Hampshire, Florida and Nevada for Mitt Romney.

By mid-week, Romney’s claim to being the front runner was about going to be a joke; although, he had amassed more delegates than other Republican candidates, he could hardly lay claim to have won representation in more states than candidate Santorum. In eight contests, establishment candidate Romney has won three, his rivals, Gingrich, one and Santorum, four! Now, his campaign manager or undertakers may want to put a twist to the results from Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota as not yielding any delegate; however, the reality is, their candidate lost in four states against a social conservative. To now wake up at the gathering of conservative activists laying claim to being ‘severely conservative’ sounds more like an aberration; as some in this group, have voted against him as being too liberal; with one of his opponents in the race for the Republican nomination, labeling him as a Massachusetts liberal!

Republican Candidate Romney currently has about 102 delegates in his kitty. He also has the additional advantage of a deep pocket, huge campaign chest and probably the confidence of the Republican establishment; however, what he probably lacks is the heart and the soul of the Republican Party. The GOP front runner may have moral discipline as espoused by his religion; however, he currently lacks the support of the true conservative Republicans; who consider his brand as uttermost, wish-washy conservative, at best.

What is going on with Mitt Romney? Why is his campaign and brand not catching fire? Some observers indicate that his brand is not catching the fever as expected within the Republican Party, even in Colorado, where he won handily over Senator McCain in 2008, because he is the 2012 establishment candidate and every other candidate in the Republican nomination race, is the anti-Romney, the way he was anti-McCain in 2008 contest. Other observers maintain that Romney has no promising or attention gripping message than the fact that he continues to repeat: “I have business experience, America needs me to fix the economy and that is why people must support me and vote me in! Objective critics maintain that Romney’s corporate zealousness will result in the undercutting of social programs, re-ammunition of many more Americans, voyeurism into another war with Iran or North Korea and the growing further of the nation’s deficit with  further tax relief for his ilk. These are probably issues that could make many hold back their support; however, candid conservative republicans maintain that Romney’s Mormon Religion is a huge factor for them. For conservative Evangelical Republicans, the fact that Romney is a leader  in what they consider a religious cult, not a Christian faith, make them skirmish of the possibility of Romney winning the White House and becoming the leader of the free . Plus the fact that Romney has not been upfront with his party or who he is in private, additional compounds the difficulty of warming up to him or his candidacy. In addition, the fact that Romney seems to be more of a flip-flopper, they cannot trust him to be steadfast and firm in his pursuit of public policy and conservative choices for this nation.

Majority of grassroots Republicans, especially the Tea Party group, are scrambling to figure out, if Romney is conservative enough based on his tenure as the governor of the State of Massachusetts. The fact that Romney once subscribed to a forerunner health care reform program in Massachusetts similar to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is very unnerving for this group. The grassroots Republicans cannot see how Romney can deny that he is part of a social program, the health care reform law in Massachusetts, and now for America, that he is attempting to disown for Republican Party nomination expediency. In a more robust field of republican aspirants the candidacy of Romney would not have seen the light of the day with these conservatives. And with the recent gaffs of saying he is also unemployed, he does not care about the really poor, and that he is not shy of being financially successful, probably at the expense of many Americans who are now living in abject poverty, his candidacy and candidature do not seem too promising against President Obama. Neither are his chances at winning the republican nomination in the first place.

Even before the now well-known denigration and character assassination of his republican opponents, Romney’s candidacy has shown some very deep flaws based on his past record of public governance. This was a one-term governor of a so-called liberal northeastern state, who lost disastrously to senator Kennedy in a bid to replace him in the United States Senate, a candidate that is better known for his Mormon faith, silver spoon pedigree and a business degree from Harvard, who probably has not worked as tirelessly and as honestly as many Americans he is asking to vote for him. There are just too many unknowns about Mitt Romney and he has not made it any easier for voters who may be considering a support for his candidacy, by being more elusive as he can get. No one knows candidate Romney and his aloofness on the campaign trail makes him more of a misery Republican aspirant or candidate. That is probably why many voters are finding it difficult to take on to him. Many voters, including many in the rank and file of Republican Party, sees Romney’s candidacy as a fluke. This perception will remain with this group of Republicans, as long as the party’s Godfather continues to stuff his candidacy down their throat, the way he once insinuated about President Obama’s handling of the American Economy. The Republican Party has suffered tremendously with the disavowing behavior of former President G.W. Bush, who took the nation to two wars on baseless lies, cut taxes extensively for the rich, deregulated drug-use and encouraged frivolous financial dealings, including the mortgage fiasco that nearly brought the whole world economy to a grinding halt.  Giving the job of the United Sates Presidency based on a candidate pedigree can be very dangerous, fatal and financially decapitating. That is probably one major reason; Romney’s candidacy is not catching fire, even with his Republican’s friends.

Candidate Romney is well aware of the panic among Republican stalwarts about the time he first announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination. There were many conservative Republicans who felt, and some who are now just warming up to his candidacy because there seem not to be another credibly conservative candidate on the lineup, that they can truly throw their support behind. For this group, Mitt Romney is their second choice candidate, not first; and for some in this group, they will rather stay home and not vote in the general elections because they cannot bring themselves down to voting for a candidate who supported mandatory health care insurance coverage that provides contraceptive for women. Factor out the perceived northeastern permissiveness of the not so conservative Republican Mormon, Romney seems more of a fair-weather candidate, who is so flip-flopping, even the flip-flop we wear in summer days is more than jealous. 

The challenge before candidate Mitt Romney is not only how to win majority support for his candidacy in the Republican primaries and caucuses across the nation, to move on as the flag bearer for the Republican Party come November; rather, it is his inability to connect with the average American voter. He lacks the warmth and probably the charisma of a candidate many women will like to vote for, especially when they know he is a member of a religion that relegates women to second class citizen in their worship of God; and, hardly accommodates or recognize the Blackman as an equal in its teaching or prophesy until 1978. Romney is a senior member of a religion that once considers the Blackman as an evil and probably broadcasted that same message while doing his missionary work in France. This is a fact not a fallacy that Romney can obviously not run away from.

There are real battles ahead for candidate Romney, even if he wins the Republican nomination. Many observers consider him as too stiff and rather hostile looking. David Letter says Romney looks more like everyone who has ever fired your dad! Other Republican voters consider him just a Republican in Name; a few believe he will say anything to get elected; and, many business leaders believe he will follow in the tradition of other Republican Presidents in recent past by cutting taxes for the rich and affluent. According to and : Romney is a naysayer regarding the issue of climate change; Romney was an enthusiastic supporter of Wall Street Bailout; Romney seems to be soft on illegal immigration more than others; and, Romney has raised more money for his campaign from lobbyists than all other candidates combined. There are numerous other issues that make candidate Romney unappealing to too many voters. 

For any political adviser to recommend that he opens up and talks more about his religion, is like asking Romney to divulge the reasons why so many Wall Street corporations have donated heavily toward his campaign; or, how come he still receives over ten million dollars yearly from a corporation he has left behind a decade ago. The unhappiness about Romney’s candidacy is probably as numerous as candidates Santorum and Gingrich can offer. The weaknesses in his candidature is best described in the words of a conservative Republican: Romney is a liberal Massachusetts covering himself in the flag of conservatism just for the sake of winning nomination to stand up on behalf of all Republicans; but we wouldn't let that go down easily! Both Santorum and Gingrich are on the hill of Mr. Romney; whether they will be able to undue the myth of the establishment candidate, is better left for time to tell. In an ever competitive contest, where we are about to move into the all-out-civil-war-in-the-Republican-nomination -process, one must learn to exercise patience and watch a lot of CNN, FOXNEWS and MSNBC!

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