So much to bring up today…. I think I’ll go in reverse order.
The GOP nomination race has finally been distilled into a two-man race. Yes, Gingrich and Paul are still running, but can we all just agree that they aren’t going to win? Then again, now that I’ve said it, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this roller coaster swing yet again. Sigh….
I still believe the race is Romney’s to lose, but Santorum is making an admirable attempt of it. That, in and of itself, should be a concern to the GOP. They have to recognize that while Santorum may reflect the truer version of their conservative hero, he’s not electable in a general national election. This last week has proven that again and again. Shall we outline his mistakes?
- Attacking Obama for apologizing for the accidental burning of the Quran. While he certainly eloquently argues that apologizing is an admission of guilt and intent on our part, I wonder how many independents and moderates even read that deeply into the news headline. I’m willing to bet not many. And even those that did, I don’t know that all that many see an apology as an admission of guilt.
Look… can’t we all just be adults? A mistake was made. Apologizing is no more an admission of guilt as it is an admission of intent. It is a recognition that something happened that should have. Not everything Obama does is wrong. The sooner the GOP realizes that, the better off we’ll be. And to be fair, not everything Obama does is right, either. The sooner the DNC realizes that, the better off we’ll be.
Santorum attacking Obama on this issue does not play well with middle vote.
- Contraception. What’s that cliche… Pick your battles?
Of all the battles that could be fought, Santorum is pitting a substantial amount of hope on an issue that is of negligible importance at this time. Yes, it plays well with the far-right, but it’s largely irrelevant or at most slightly important to a vast majority of people.
Santorum continuing to hammer on this does not endear him to a broader election base.
- Calling for Dems to vote for him in Michigan. This is a what-the-crap moment for me. This is the ultra-conservative. The “team player.” The conservative alternative to Romney. And his plea? Throw the open election in Michigan so that Romney doesn’t win.
This is nothing more than a political temper tantrum. There already was zero chance I was going to vote for Santorum, but this kind of activity quickly turns me into an anti-campaigner.
Romney on the other hand is hardly gaffe free. There are many who still have issues with his wealth. His recent off-hand comment that his wife drives a couple Cadillacs certainly set off a fresh storm of criticism.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with success. Congratulations to him. He’s certainly accomplished more than I have, and I have no issue with him being wealthy and having nice things. Congratulations.
But there is that faction of people who will always see him as a robber baron, an elite snob, and whatever else. Not much you can do.
Romney is still the most electable of the two. By far.
On to the Primaries….
This is huge for Romney. Arizona not so much, but if Romney loses Michigan, it will add to the already mounting criticism that he can’t unite the GOP. It will also give Santorum some valuable ammunition going into Super Tuesday next week. Even with a Santorum win, I donotthink that he’ll necessarily win the nomination, but this thing needs to wrap up. It’s turned into a bit of a farce and is damaging to the GOP. That is easily seen in the national polls that see Obama steadily pulling away.
Sooner or later, someone needs to recognize that the party is fracturing and that the wedge of that fracture is the anti-Romney. I know that some Repubs don’t care for Romney. I get that. But at what point does the good of the party outweigh the good of the fringe? And I say that while gagging because I strongly disagree with party politics and “doing the best thing for the party.” But still… These people have an agenda (we all do), and they need to figure out if having a chance to beat Obama is more important than beating Romney.
Like I said, Santorum cannot win the general election. Romney can. Which goal is more important?
Finally, $4 gas….
Does it concern me? Yes and no. I don’t like paying that much for gas, but it doesn’t necessarily destroy my financial stability. Right now, I drive roughly 10,000 miles a year at 25 miles per gallon. At $3 a gallon, that’s roughly $1,200 a year. At $4 a gallon, that jumps to $1,600. It’s a fair amount and certainly worth noting. However, an increase of $400 a year (roughly $35 a month) does not ruin me. In that sense, it doesn’t worry me.
However, I do wonder the impact of $4 gas on the economy. It may not impact me very much, but multiply that $35 a month across the entire economy (say all 120 MM US households see that same increase), and now you’re talking a hit of $4.2BB a month and $50.4BB a year; A substantial hit to our consumer-driven economy!
Politically, I think $4 gas does more damage to Obama than unemployment improvements help. Unemployment is a serious issue that impacts a subset of Americans. I don’t discredit their needs and the hurt they feel, but the truth is that most Americans are not unemployed. For many of us, unemployment is a them issue. Not us. Gas prices, however, are an everyone issue, and we’ll all feel the hit. Sure, some of us may be more or less impacted, but even though $35 a month doesn’t cause me to fret, you bet I notice it when it suddenly costs me $50 to fill my tank instead of $40. It’s an emotional response, and if we’ve proven anything in our electoral system, emotion is the true determiner of elections.