Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Week #46 – Politics Week

 Politics. What are your childhood memories of politics? Were your parents active in politics? What political events and elections do you remember from your youth? This challenge runs from Saturday, November 12, 2011 through Friday, November 18, 2011. 

Countdown to Election Day 2011: 5 days
Countdown to Iowa caucuses: 61 days    ***  January 3 caucus in Iowa
Countdown to South Carolina primary: 79 days
Countdown to Florida primary: 89 days
Countdown to Nevada caucuses: 93 days
Countdown to Super Tuesday: 124 days

As usual, Mitt Romney, simply by standing there, looking presidential, and not making a fool of himself. He has to be the luckiest man on earth. Dozens, if not hundreds of polls have shown month after month that three-quarters of the Republican voters do not want him as their nominee. Yet every challenger who rises up to take the mantle of the Not-Romney implodes due to personal flaws. Donald Trump got lost in Birtherland somewhere. Michele Bachmann is crazy as a loon, Perry can't remember why he wants to be President,

“Earlier today Herman Cain rejected calls that he should withdraw from the race. He said, ‘It ain’t gonna happen!’ That’s what he said. Ironically, that’s what women say to him when he’d put his hand up their skirt.” –Jay Leno

and Cain has a Bill-Clinton-type problem (but without the charm that saved Clinton over and over).
                                    So who's left? Santorum has a Google problem and Ron Paul is way out of the mainstream.  Of  late there has been a boomlet for Newt Gingrich, but he comes with a lot of baggage. In particular, marrying his high school math teacher seems a bit odd, but is otherwise not a problem. The trouble is that he served divorce papers on her when she was in the hospital with cancer. Anyone can make a mistake after all. But then he got married to wife #2 during which period of marital bliss he led the attack on Bill Clinton for his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. The problem here is that while attacking Clinton for cheating on his wife, Gingrich was cheating on wife #2 with a woman who would later become wife #3. Clearly Gingrich loves women and would never harass them, but if he rises to the top after Cain's fall, all this history is going to resurface. People are going to say: "We dumped Cain for WHAT?"
                                       The strangest thing about the whole campaign so far is that there actually is a candidate who is as good as Romney but without the flip-flopping problem that so plagues Romney: Jon Huntsman. He was a successful and popular governor, speaks fluent Chinese, and as ambassador to China is the only one of the Republican candidates with any foreign policy experience at all. But in the polls, he is lucky to register in the single digits so everyone ignores him. His problem is that the modern Republican Party has moved so far to the right that Huntsman, who governed pragmatically--much as Ronald Reagan did--now looks like a far leftist. His sins in the eyes of the Republican electorate are twofold: he worked for Obama as ambassador to China and he doesn't throw raw meat to the base on every issue. He could have deflected the first point by using John McCain's campaign slogan "Country First" saying he was called on to serve his country and he did not shirk his duty. He could try to blunt the second point by saying he can win the votes of the almighty independent voters. And he could certainly hammer Romney on his flip flopping, something Huntsman has never done. But the media, which once had a crush on him, has dropped him like a hot potato.
                                           So every day it looks more and more like Obama vs. Romney in Nov. 2012.

 Unless the voters of four small quirky states thrown sand in the gears of Romney's well-oiled machine.

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