I support Romney. To me, he’s far and away the most competent and experienced person to run for President in, like, forever. I won’t review his resume here in detail–2001 Olympics, Governor, Bain, etc.–but it is impressive, especially when punctuated by his $250 million net worth. Likewise, Reagan was competent and experienced. He was president of SAG. He did the lecture series for GE. He was governor of California. He had run for president once before. The guy had experience in spades.
Now contrast R & R with the others running for office. Santorum has 12 years in the Senate and a few years in the House. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but where’s the executive experience? Gingrich was Speaker of the House, where he had a successful run until it was no longer so successful. Since then he has headed a bunch of pompous sounding organizations, set up, I gather, to advance his ideas. Oh, and then there was that lobbying, er, historian stint with Fannie Mae. Paul? Enough said.
So where do their supporters retreat? To the Garden of Eden of Reagan conservatism. And Romney–to them–doesn’t measure up. To what? To Reagan’s conservative credentials? Okay. Romney is not as conservative as Reagan–or Santorum or Gingrich (balderdash on that one). But he matches and even exceeds Reagan as an executive and as a fixer. Add 2 (executive experience) + 1.5 (conservative credentials) and you get 3.5, which is at least .5 points more than I would give Santorum, Gingrich, or Paul. At least that’s what I think.
It took me awhile, but I came around. I admit I bit into the Establishment-is-out-to-get-us apple, but I’ve had my fill. The claim no longer makes sense to me. Besides, many of its messengers come off as what you might call a New Establishment or the Tea Party Establishment, pushing candidates so flawed as to be unelectable. Newt Gingrich, for example. Sarah, Rush, Sean, and the like are all behind him, pushing for all they’re worth. The Establishment is out to get him? Please. I’m a sometimes blogger, more often Facebook poster, who lost his taste for Gingrich histrionics long ago. His full-throated debate attacks on the MSM became the new Race Card in my eyes, a card he played so often and so transparently that I began to mouth Reagan every time he laid the card on the table, “There he goes again.” I’m no Establishment guy, but I’ll do everything in my power to prevent Mr. Gingrich from earning the Republican nomination.
As for Sarah Palin, the little Nash Rambler from up north: Where are your scruples young lady? Since when did the Tea Party decide to support a twice divorced, thrice married womanizer? A candidate with so much obvious baggage and so little discipline? And why, if you dislike Romney so much, are you not pushing Santorum, the one candidate with real Conservative bona fides? (I’m a Romney supporter, by the way.) No, Sarah, yours is a call I won’t respond to.
Byron York has reported on it; now the Wall Street Journal is doing the same. I’m Mormon and a Mitt Romney supporter. I don’t see myself ever supporting Newt Gingrich, a man with more baggage than the lost and found at O’Hare, but Mitt (or Mitt’s superPAC) is wrong on the House Ethics charge and should stop campaigning on it.
That said, I’m willing to give Romney (and/or his superPAC) the benefit of a doubt for going with it initially. As I understand from York’s piece, the waters on this episode in the Speaker’s life were muddied considerably by the partisans who pushed it and by their enablers in the press. However, the truth about the charges should now be obvious to the Romney camp. So they should stop playing the Ethics card–now.
Romney had to stare down Gingrich in the last Florida debate, and he did a wonderful job of it. Very strong debate for him tonight. Santorum was even stronger, but unfortunately for him, he’s too far behind in Florida for it to matter (or is he? Remember Iowa). The three most recent polls (Thursday, January 26) out of Florida give Romney a lead over Gingrich of an average +7.67 points. His lead over Santorum averages out at +29. Doubtful he can make that ground up.