Reason delves into it with some humor and expected results.
“For those who insist that the center is always the place to be, I have an important piece of information: We already have a centrist president. Indeed, Bruce Bartlett, who served as a policy analyst in the Reagan administration, argues that Mr. Obama is in practice a moderate conservative. Mr. Bartlett has a point.
The president, as we’ve seen, was willing, even eager, to strike a budget deal that strongly favored conservative priorities. His health reform was very similar to the reform Mitt Romney installed in Massachusetts. Romneycare, in turn, closely followed the outlines of a plan originally proposed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. And returning tax rates on high-income Americans to their level during the Roaring Nineties is hardly a socialist proposal.
True, Republicans insist that Mr. Obama is a leftist seeking a government takeover of the economy, but they would, wouldn’t they? The facts, should anyone choose to report them, say otherwise.” –Paul Krugman
Bill Maher jokes on a few small Palin gaffe’s. Her unknowingly being that close to Romney may be a side effect of her spur-of-the-moment/secretively scheduled tour.
Ramesh Ponuru makes the counter-argument against the 2012 GOP field being labeled as weak:
The three people most likely to win the Republican nomination — Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman, according to Intrade.com — have all been governors. Two of them were governors of states that Obama carried in 2008. By contrast, the top three candidates for the Democratic nomination last time around (Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards) had a combined zero days of executive experience. This time, even some long-shot Republican candidates have stronger resumes than that: Libertarian gadfly Gary Johnson, for example, was a two-term governor of New Mexico.
Romney is well-versed on the issues and fast on his feet. Pawlenty, by addressing voter concerns about health care and traffic congestion while holding the line on taxes, managed to win re-election in deep-blue Minnesota in 2006, when Republicans were routed nationwide. Huntsman was a popular governor of Utah and, as the former ambassador to China, is knowledgeable about the country’s most important economic relationship.
Ramesh makes a good point about executive experience. However, will this group of ex-governor’s and their experience(s) be able to hold up against the incumbents?
Tim Pawlenty. Dave Weigel provides a solid piece on him:
This is seriously unfair to Pawlenty, but you can understand what his party’s thinking. If prospective candidates were universities, and the Republican primary voter were a high-school senior applying to college, then Pawlenty would be the safety school. A bland, solid Midwestern land-grant university. The problem with a safety school, of course, is that no one’s in a hurry to RSVP “yes” to it. David Frum, who occasionally predicts that Pawlenty will win the nomination, puts it another way: “Predicting Pawlenty feels like reaching the wrong answer on a math exam. You do the calculation and you arrive at the answer, Pawlenty. You think: That can’t be right.”
This could be a similar issue with Gary Johnson’s campaign. How much do these two need to fire up the respective GOP and Independent bases to get the rousing support they need to compete?
Weigel also compares Pawlenty to Palin/Romney:
Why is Pawlenty such a hard sell to Republicans? It may be a matter of branding. Whatever a candidate seems to be, people try to find it in his speeches. Mitt Romney is branded as a guy who will say anything, so his speeches are combed for evidence of flip-flops. Sarah Palin is branded as an angry mom who’ll say anything and reaches the boiling point after the most minor insult; her speeches, tweets, and Facebook notes are read like the Kabbalah for more proof of the theory.
Daniel Larison sees shades of Mike Huckabee when he sees Pawlenty (as well as attributes possibly anathema or below par for the GOP base):
Pawlenty is a compromise candidate in a party that is largely tired of having to settle for what they can get. The few things that distinguish him and make him somewhat interesting to some conservatives, such as his working-class background and conversion to evangelical Protestanism, are things that make him seem to be just enough of a working-class Huckabee-like populist to give some Republicans pause. This means that people with money are probably going to be disinclined to give some of that money to him just as they were unwilling to support Huckabee financially.
Meanwhile, Pawlenty’s actual record is so reliably and generically mainstream Republican that he appears merely adequate rather than exciting.
“If Huntsman or Romney wins the nomination, and then Obama wins the election, the GOP will quickly shift from “loosely tethered to reality” to “out of its freaking mind.”Remember, after its crushing defeat in 2008, the party faithful concluded that John McCain lost the election because he wasn’t conservative enough—and that George W. Bush lost his popularity because of his big spending. So the party moved even farther toward its right-wing base, casting away moderates like Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist and Michael Bloomberg. And its comeback victory in 2010 seemed to validate that strategy. A Huntsman or Romney defeat would just prove to the party that electoral salvation lies in ideological purity and rigid obstructionism, the kind of conclusion that already appeals to Tea Party activists who consider Obama some kind of tyrannical socialist usurper.” —Michael Grunwald, H/T: The Dish
Ain’t this the truth?
Robert Reich explains how the hypothetical presidential match-up between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama has dwindled from a 13 point lead for Barack to just 1 point:
Why is Mitt doing so well? Partly because Obama’s positions are by now well known, while voters can project anything they want onto Mitt. It’s also because much of the public continues to worry about the economy, jobs, and the price of gas at the pump, and they inevitably blame the president.
But I suspect something else is at work here, too. To many voters, President Obama sounds and acts presidential, but he doesn’t look it. Mitt Romney is the perfect candidate for people uncomfortable that their president is black. Mitt is their great white hope.
I wouldn’t take it so far with the race card. Mitt is somewhat ambiguous when it comes to policy, yes. However, he seems to be the same, plain candidate that was around in 2008:
I say this not because Mitt’s mind is the sharpest of the likely contenders (Newt Gingrich is far more nimble intellectually). Nor because his record of public service is particularly impressive (Tim Pawlenty took his governorship seriously, while Mitt as governor seemed more intent on burnishing his Republican credentials outside Massachusetts). Nor because Mitt is the most experienced at running a business (Donald Trump has actually managed a major company, while Mitt made his money buying and selling companies). Nor, finally, because he’s especially charismatic or entertaining (Sarah Palin can work up audiences, and Mike Huckabee is genuinely funny and folksy, while Mitt delivers a speech so deliberately he seems to be driving a large truck).
Mind you, by the Right, I mean the National Review. And why? Because of his Obama-style Massachusetts health care plan. It seems that the tides have turned against Mitt, not the other way around with Mitt turning with the tides. State/National health care plans are anathema to the right today. It is much different today than 2007; they were not in the discussion in 2007.
Mitt is still in the front of the pack for GOP candidates and may even be pushed farther ahead by the recent announcement that Mike Huckabee will not be running for Republican nomination in 2012.
“Every day I am haunted by the fact that I gave impoverished Massachusetts citizens a chance to receive health care. I’m only human, and I’ve made mistakes. None bigger, of course, than helping cancer patients receive chemotherapy treatments and making sure that those suffering from pediatric AIDS could obtain medications, but that’s my cross to bear,” – Mitt Romney
“The major strike against Mitt Romney is that he not only tried to help people get medical care, he actually did help people get medical care,” conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg said. “No other Republican in the field has that type of baggage. And in the end, in order to defeat President Obama, the GOP needs someone who has a track record of never wanting to help sick people.”
H/T: Andrew Sullivan
Here is your daily, or possibly weekly, dose of right wing Christianist vitriol, non sense, and or hyperbole.
Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, believes that the yoga is heretical for Christians, Phyillis Schlafly says that America spends more on people who are not married than on national defense (stats?), Bryan Fischer couldn’t force the Tea Party to say they would support social conservative issues, Mitt Romney, Christine O’Donnell, Rick Santorum, and other conservative bigots preach unchristian (yet so misunderstood on our founders beliefs) white “lets take back control” hatred here, Bryan Fischer’s full Value’s Voter Summit speech here, here, and here, and this short gem below by Bryan Fischer, saying that we as Christians have turned over control of America. Can Fischer quote Jesus saying that we need to control our governments? Why didn’t Jesus give in and rule over Israel as so many wished for him to do?