It’s seems like just the other day that Mitt Romney supporters, known to us conservatives as “Mittbots” were insisting that the Nomination of Mitt “The Legacy” Romney as the Republican presidential candidate was a fait d’accompli.
Things have changed.
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s struggles in Michigan are fueling speculation that Republicans might have to resort to a doomsday scenario and launch a frantic search for a 2012 savior at their nominating convention in late August.
Rare in the modern age of U.S. politics, a “brokered convention” could result in Republicans ditching their current crop of candidates and turning to someone else who they feel would have a better chance of defeating Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.
How did Republicans get to this point? Romney’s failure to get conservatives fully behind him and put down yet another challenger in the party – this time it’s Rick Santorum – is causing angst in the party.
Many senior Republicans do not think Santorum, a social conservative caught up in the U.S. culture wars over issues like abortion and contraception, has a chance to beat Obama if he wins the party’s presidential nomination.
When he ran for re-election as a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania in 2006, Santorum lost by 18 percentage points. But, nevertheless, he is exposing Romney’s weaknesses in Michigan, where Santorum leads polls ahead of the big Midwestern state’s February 28 primary.
A Romney loss to Santorum in Michigan, the state where he was born and where his father was governor, would only intensify the talk about a weak Republican field and feed demands for someone else as the party’s candidate to challenge Obama.
“It’s hard for me to see how Romney rights the ship if he loses Michigan,” said Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak. “There is no level of spin that can overcome that disaster.”
Michigan will set the table for “Super Tuesday,” the March 6 jackpot when 10 states hold Republican nominating contests. A loss for Romney in Michigan would raise serious doubts over whether he can rally enough support to have a big day on Super Tuesday and make a big move toward clinching the nomination.
The candidates are engaging in a state-by-state battle to become the Republican nominee. The party will officially pick a nominee at its August convention in Tampa, Florida.
Why is Romney losing in what was once his “home state”, a state where his own father, George Romney, was once Governor?
L.Z. Granderson has a possible explanation:
One very clear reason why Mitt Romney is far from a lock to win the Michigan primary, despite his ties to the state, is that he’s not really tied to the state.
He was born here, he lived here. But he’s not family. Not anymore.
That’s why the characterization of Rick Santorum polling well in Romney’s backyard is a bit misguided. The truth is, many of us disowned that two-faced liar years ago. We remember how, back in 2008, Romney came home promising to do all he could to save the auto industry. And we believed him and voted for him and he won the primary here. Then, after he dropped out of the race, he wrote a New York Times op-ed that carried the headline “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
The opening sentence: “If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.”
What the he@@?
I thought he said he was one of us.
Later in the piece, Romney talks about why we should let the auto industry go bankrupt. Although he lays out some very sound reasons for this — including an anecdotal story of when his father, George, took over American Motors — at the end of the day he fails to mention the most important thing. Us.
He forgot about the people back home who depended on the auto industry to put food on the table, pay mortgages, send the kids to college. He greeted us like family when he needed our votes, but when he left town he treated us like strangers.
If Romney didn’t think a bailout was the best way to help the state, he should have said that when he came here looking for delegates and let the people at his rallies decide if they agreed with him. Instead he pandered, then kicked dirt in our faces on his way out the door — an all too familiar pattern with Romney.
The reason Santorum is gaining votes in Michigan isn’t because he’s so liked here, though his social conservative rhetoric plays well in the western side of the state. But it’s because we’ve been burned by Romney before. He tells the people in front of him what they want to hear. But when he sets his sights on a new shiny object, he changes the script to fit his new needs.
Unfortunately, for The Legacy, other Americans besides Granderson and the Michiganders have figured out his Karma Chameleon nature, also. Thus the latest from pollster Scott Rasmussen:
…Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum has now bounced to a 12-point lead over Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters finds Santorum with 39% support to the former Massachusetts governor’s 27%. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich follows from a distance with 15% of the vote, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul runs last with 10%. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided.
Now I’m just an average American, sitting here outside Memphis, Tennessee (Detroit South) in the northwest corner of Mississippi, but it seems to me, as I’ve said before, that average Americans – especially conservatives here in the Heartland – are a stubborn people.
We tend to stand up on our hind legs when someone tries to force something (or in this case, someone) upon us that we really don’t trust, or care for.
For an example, pay attention to a Supreme Court case coming in a few months, concerning the constitutionality of forcing everyone in America to buy health insurance in order to participate in a federal government-run bureaucratic nightmare of a healthcare system that the overwhelming majority of Americans remain opposed to, but was shoved down our throats anyway.
By the way, where did Obama and his administration ever find a government-run healthcare system to model Obamacare after?
Oh yeah…Romneycare. You know, that might have something to do with Romney’s campaign tanking, as well.
What do YOU think?