The Rise of Romney, Part III?

Avatar

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

146 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    What does the headline have to do with the subject matter of the post?

    I think the idea about whether Obama or not is popular depends on who you ask and shows a lot of politicalm polarization and big sorting issues. Among my cohort (and there are a lot of us) of urban, coastal, left-leaning types, Obama is still hugely popular. Even if we dislike some of his decisions, we realize that he is often between a rock and a hardplace. Partisans of the other side might feel otherwise of course and the other side also has plenty of partisans.

    The idea of non-partisans thinking Romney got a raw deal makes me think of the problems and limits of Kelly’s ideology is the enemy theory. Yes ideology can blind people to certain solutions but I think it is equally problematic that so many non-partisans often seem to vote based upon things that are really beyond the control of politicians and political parties. I find it much preferable when people actually have viewpoints that they vote for and stick to their guns even if I disagree with someone’s ideology. The kind of voting that says “The economy is bad, so I am going to vote for the other party” is not that great.

    We need to see whether a viable alternative can emerge for both the GOP and the Democratic Party. 2014 is still too early. Looking back this would be like 2006 which was Obama’s second year in the Senate. People have a way of emerging from seemingly out of nowhere.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      There was a post-title mismatch. I was going to post the Romney one tomorrow, but oh well, both are up now.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      George H. Bush would probably agree with you. 🙂

      I tend to think that Obama’s lack of popularity is not just due to the perception that things aren’t good – that perception was there when he was re-elected – but because he has lost the aura of competence. That he hasn’t done particularly well of those things within is control, and his signature legislation is still unpopular. Now liberal-types will argue that this (or the first part, at least) isn’t true, conservative-types were arguing that this was true even when he was re-elected. The difference now being that the general public has shifted from more-or-less agreeing with one to agreeing with the other. Are they right? Can’t say. A lot of it is almost certainly unfair. I would say not all of it. Governing is hard, and I think expectations were elevated when Bush’s critics suggested that it is only hard if you don’t care.

      For Romney himself, I stick to my guns on that one. It’s easy to forget what is dislikable about him when you are not confronted with him. I’ve honestly come around to thinking that the negative impression is itself not entirely fair. But I feel it myself (felt it in 2008 and 2012) and it’s not going away. It is what it is, and arguably (at least) such things can affect one’s ability to govern (though in counter-evidence, perhaps, is Nixon).Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        You never met Nixon did you? Nixon was a charmer, a charismatic dude that could have folks wrapped around his finger.
        About the opposite of Mitt Romney, who had a seriously magical talent to take people who wanted to support him, and turn them into vocal opponents.

        http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/04/19/mitt-romneys-newest-mini-headache-cookiegate/

        This is not something that a politician does. His instinct is to insult people. Which is perhaps fine when you’re a CEO — you pay the bills.

        When you’re talking to a newspaperwoman, or to Putin? Well, let’s just say, I don’t want him talking to Putin — who is known to be touchy under the best circumstances.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        I personally don’t think Obama has lost his aura of competence. Any competence that he is losing is because of Tea Party maximal opposition that insists Obama do something and not do something at the same time. I think the issue of whether Obama lost competence has to do with media diet.

        For the most part, Affordable Healthcare has been largely successful at getting people signed up and insured despite some noticeable fiascos and medicare costs are going down. The states that are losing out are the Red states that refused any money from the federal government and refused medicare expansion.

        What people call an aura of competence is really short hand for Green Lanternism and the wish for the Presidency to be more Imperial than it really is.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        I think that’s some of it, but not all of it. It doesn’t take an imperial presidency to either (a) successfully launch a website or (b) not be blindsided when it fails spectacularly (combined with initially trying to argue that it wasn’t a big deal). Even if things did come into focus, in combination with bureaucratic mismanagement and/or the perception thereof (VA, IRS), there is a reason that some 57% of Americans disagree with you. I don’t think it’s all media boredom. Though, again, I do agree that’s some of it.

        That Obama is held responsible actually isn’t the worst thing for liberals. It would be far worse if the take-away were that we can’t expect otherwise, which would call into question the liberal project. Plus, since Obama won’t be on the ballot next year, HRC won’t be expected to answer for them in the same way that Obama would if he were running for a third term.

        That’s not the worst thing, for liberals. If things like the VA scandal are simply to be expected, then that calls into question the government’s ability to solve our problems.

        The good news for Democrats is that to the extent that the administration itself is that, to the frustration of Republicans, the blame falling on Obama takes the focReport

      • Avatar North in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Obama lost his aura of competence around the time the ACA rolled out. I will also state factually that he deserved to lose his aura of competence over that rollout even though the ACA overall has chunked and clunked along tolerably well despite the GOP doing everything they can including throwing their own voters into it to be ground up in the gears in a desperate attempt to wreck it. I’m as partisan as they come but Obama had one goddamn job in his second term and he fished it up. He isn’t at an aura of incompetence level yet but he has no claim to an aura of competence.

        He had one job, as the leader of our party, and he fished it up.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        @saul-degraw For the first two years he had both chambers of Congress and a veto proof majority. Medicare costs were going down before Obamacare got started, so I don’t think credit can go there. And while the front end is fixed, reports seem to indicate that the back-end billing and funding transfer systems are still a complete mess.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        In Fairness Mo Obama not only had both chambers and a veto proof majority but he also had his HopenChange naiveté. It almost cost him his signature legislation. We forget how close the GOP came to snookering him.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/08/obamacare-works-and-america-will-always-hate-it.html

        I will add that the one issue that does seem potentially really bad and was baked into the system and is not just a mistake is that people might need to change insurance every year to make sure their rates stay low. It seems that the system was designed to encourage competition and more people coming into the insurance market on both ends. The problem is that this requires people to shop around every year.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        http://www.cbsnews.com/news/agents-able-to-get-subsidized-obamacare-using-fake-ids/

        http://www.politico.com/politicopulse/0714/politicopulse14674.html

        It’s fine and dandy that the front end of the site works, but it still does not accurately pay insurance companies or do basic things like confirm whether or not you have a real Social Security number. If you’re 6 months in and you won’t start building the components that will accurately pay your vendors until about 14 months after launch, you don’t get to keep your aura of competence. This has nothing to do with whether or not the law was good, but whether it was executed competently and it’s astounding that anyone could ascribe competence to the launch and current state.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Nixon was a charmer, a charismatic dude that could have folks wrapped around his finger.

        That’s only slightly more whacked than Sony having its own tanks.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        I personally don’t think Obama has lost his aura of competence.

        For my part, I never saw him as particularly competent. I had a long running debate about that during the ACA legislative battle. So in my eyes–which aren’t the public’s, of course–there was no aura to lose.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        I should add, he got rolled by Republicans a couple times before that, on budgets. I’d say that’s when my expectations were confirmed.Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        @mo “For the first two years he had both chambers of Congress and a veto proof majority.”

        Ah, how quickly people forget recent history. He had a filibuster-proof majority (which I assume is what you meant, since pointing out it was veto-proof makes no sense) for a grand total of six and half weeks, because Republicans in Minnesota dragged their feet so hard on seating Al Franken that he was not sworn in until July 9 of 2009. Ted Kennedy died on August 25, and the seat was lost to Scott Brown. So the idea that he could have done anything he wanted legislatively for the first two years of his presidency is flatly incorrect.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        @north

        I remember reading articles in the early first term that said Obama let Congress write most of the ACA because he thought it was the job of the legislature to legislate. There is merit to this viewpoint.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        I actually sort of agree with Saul here. For better or worse, Obamacare (the law) doesn’t really belong to Obama because he did make the decision to let congress lead. Pelosi and Reid deserve credit and blame where applicable on what the law says. It’s their baby – particularly Pelosi’s This could be framed as abdicating his responsibility or somesuch, but I have no problem with it at all.

        On the other hand, Pelosi and Reid are not responsible for the carrying out of the law, and if the expectations were unreasonable, Obama never said so and that would be on him.

        Whether the law as drafted is good or bad, or whether we give Obama credit or Pelosi and Reid, Obama did own it and was prepared to take credit for it and thus does fairly get blame for the fact that it is unpopular. Even if the people are stupid or short-sighted for not liking it, it is fair that it should reflect their view of the president who championed (albeit didn’t write) it. But likewise, that it is unpopular does not in and of itself make it a bad law except insofar as its unpopularity has made it more difficult to nip and tuck to make it a better law (and even there… it’s complicated).Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, if so, that’s part of Obama’s naivete and lack of preparation for the presidency, no? Presidents have been playing a big role in legislation for quite a long time. “I am a part of the legislative process,” Ike said.

        If it’s an issue you don’t care about, like Nixon and evironmental protection, sure, ley Congress legislate, if they stay within your bounds. But for something that is to be the your signature achievement? You don’t stay hands off on that; you get down in the trenches and you negotiate. “Presidential power is the power to persuade…is bargaining power,” said Richard Neustadt.

        Of course the alternative theory, the one favored by my colleague, is that Obama was trying an Eisenhowerish above-the-fray hidden-hand approach, that he was a lot more engaged and involved than was apparent, and that it was a conscious strategy. I don’t think so myself, but the truth is we’ll not know until sometime in the future, when scholars are able to pick apart the president’s internal documents. 20 years from now I may owe my colleague a beer.Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        @james-hanley Richard Neustadt said that in 1960. The Presidency has changed quite a bit since then, and so has Congress. Certainly there was nothing like the kind of parliamentary levels of party discipline like we see in Congress now, or the kind of all-out obstructionism we see from the GOP. The Republicans were prepared to stonewall Obama from the outset, so exactly what the hell was he supposed to do?Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        @will-truman Even if you grant that details drafted into the law wasn’t his responsibility (I disagree, but I’ll grant it), the execution of it was horrific. And a lot of it was the administrations responsibility for delaying getting the projects started to give states a chance to change their mind and so on. The federal exchange can at least say they weren’t the worst (hello Oregon), but they were nowhere near as good as states like Kentucky or Connecticut, which are dwarfed in the resources they could throw at the problem. They completely mishandled a massive IT project and oversight of said IT project that was the centerpiece of their signature bill. And it’s still not fixed.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        @mo I agree with you on the administrative side. And it’s not just that it was flubbed, but that Obama either truly didn’t or made a terrible lapse in judgment.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Zac,

        The Dems had majorities in both houses. That means they can win if they want. People over-emphasize the lack of a filibuster-proof majority. Filibusters can be broken. The longest filibuster in history didn’t stop the bill it targeted.

        So go get all the Dems on board. Use every angle you can against the foot-draggers in your own party. Pressure your part leaders to play hardball. Promise shitloads of federal funds to moderate Republicans, and threaten them with not getting a thin red cent of discretionary spending if they don’t go along, until you find one to vote for cloture. Call a cloture vote when a GOP senator gets up to take a whiz.

        The complaint that the minority was too strong is a complaint that the majority didn’t have the unanimity or desire to fight them.

        Obama wanted a bipartisan bill, so he didn’t want to play hardball. And he still didn’t get a bipartisan bill. He was aiming at his signature accomplishment, and he didn’t go to the wall fir it. And his supporters are left trying to pretend that their party’s and president’s inability to defeat the minority was more about the minority’s strength than about their party’s and president’s weakness.

        He’s the anti-Keyzer Soze. He doesn’t know how to demonstrate will.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        He’s the anti-Keyzer Soze.

        Is that the standard by which we ought to judge elected officials? “If you don’t kill your wife and kids, then you clearly have no desire to achieve anything of value. You’re a loser who lacks motivation and will.”Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        I think Neustadt’s quote still applies in the contemporary era. Bill Clinton’s power was a function of his persuasiveness; persuasiveness is an important aspect of charisma.

        I’m not sure how persuasive President Obama is; less than Candidate Obama, that’s for sure.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Ignoring the fact that some of the people Bill Clinton persuaded were not going to be persuaded by Obama for obvious melanin related reasons., the whole concept of the bully pulpit is overrated. There’s lots of articles out there about that.

        But, to @james-hanley’s point on paying off moderate Republican senator’s. Yes, in 1988 or 1995, you could’ve pulled that off. But, Ben Nelson, a center-right Democrat got millions of dollars in ads dumped on him for the Cornhusker Kickback. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins were both threatened with Tea Party primaries if they dared vote for the ACA, let alone somebody like Lamar! or another conservative Republican.

        Now, Obama could’ve tried to do some hardcore LBJ-type wrangling, but he would’ve had to get the rest of the DNC caucus, including noted assholes like Lieberman on his side. After all, can’t you see ole’ Holy Joe moralizing on a Sunday talk show about, “Obama and other left-wing Democrat’s going too far in attacking the poor constituents of Senator Alexander and Sessions” and getting attaboys from the national press?Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Stillwater,
        Yes. 😉

        Jesse,
        I’m not disputing that things are harder now, but you’re just throwing your hands up in despair and saying “there’s nothing he could have done.” To invert the old saying, when the going gets tough, the non-tough don’t go.

        Part of the problem is Obama–contra the conservatives who talk up a storm about Chicago-style politics–doesn’t seem to want to play dirty pool. That’s fine, I guess, but it means he has cross-cutting values. If that’s more important than his signature legislation, then for him he played it right. If he really wanted national health care and was trying to have it both ways, he was wrong.

        There’s also the perspective that he’s taking the long view, that the haters (and the hopers) are right that ACA is just the camel’s nose, that it will lead to a true national health care program down the road. If that happens and if that’s what he’s thinking, then he played it right (for his goals).

        Truly only time will tell. But my perspective absent future disconfirming evidence is that he got swept up in his own storyline, from the brilliant ’04 convention speech to the dominating Senatorial election victory, to the suggestions that he was the bright new face of the party, immediately being called presidential material and being urged to run, the hope and change, and the big presidential election win with record turnout. It would take a strong person to not let that go to their head, and anyone with the hubris to run for president is not the type to be resistant to that, especially someone with such little experience on the national stage. I think he imagined the public acclaim would carry him farther, and was not ready for the reality of governing.

        And the changed political times that have made D.C. so much more partisan don’t help, to be sure, but I think that’s part of the landscape that he misread. He wanted to play the above-the-fray head of state and avoid the in-the-trenches role of head of government, like Ike, but of course he was not in Ike’s unique position, a national hero with no party history who was sought as a candidate by both parties.

        It all comes down, imo, to naivete, lack of experience. He was thrust into the presidency far too soon.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Hanley has the general crux of it. Obama won his presidency a certain way and he wanted to get his legislation a certain way- on the soaring themes of bipartisanship, a new way of doing business in DC and above it all civility. The GOP, led by Mitch, figured this out early on and decided that the best way to destroy Obama was through lock step party discipline and by snookering him with his own rhetoric. That’s why they voted in absolute unity against him even as he gave the shop away trying to get their votes while simultaneously denying through their media arms that Obama was doing anything to try and get their votes. This was some unprecedented party discipline and a real flexing of their alternative media muscle. It was political jujitsu; using Obama’s own strength against him.

        There were costs to this, it cost the GOP every scintilla of direct influence over the legislation being shaped. Had they won the GOP would have won all the marbles and they very nearly did. But Reid and Pelosi jumped in and Obama gave in and began to play hardball so the GOP lost their pot on it and thus we have the ACA.

        Regardless, a competent Obama would have enacted the rollout well. He cannot lay claim to any above normal level of competence after the fishup of the ACA rollout; he just can’t. We’re not the GOP here, we don’t get to claim amazing success and attributes for our leaders that they don’t have; we don’t want to either.Report

  2. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    Hmph. the “non-partisan” republican I was talking to at the baseball game, didn’t seem to regret voting for Obama…

    “Hillary looks better at a distance and she lost a nomination that should have been hers for a reason”
    … these are the same reasons why Romney won’t win the presidency. Ever.Report

  3. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    Of course there was the 47% stuff for which he didn’t get enough crap for his own ignorance. And health care which was somewhat of an issue that he couldn’t run away from fast enough. In fact I can’t wait to see what the R’s dream up re: health care for 2016.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      Honest-to-gawd screw-ups like that are a big part of what lent credence to some of the less substantive attacks.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t think 47% was a screw up per se. He bought into the idea embodied in the idiotic conservo meme.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I disagree, though I don’t think we came to a resolution the last time we discussed it.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Disagree or agree Will I think what Greg is touching on here is Romney’s key problem. The 47% comment is pretty much as fresh now as it was then and it is directly salient to one of the GOP’s several gaping chest wounds- the overwhelming perception that they are out for the wealthy elite. I’ve not seen anything from Romneybot to think he has the political chops to aww shucks or change of heart the 47% statement away so he’d be absolutely dreadful in 2016. Then again perhaps he got an upgrade or something?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I think the 47% comments were an honest-to-gawd error. I think it compounded other things that weren’t really errors in any meaningful sense. I also think the 47% was itself compounded by its context, which included other errors and faux-errors.

        I think that if Romney had another shot, I’m not sure how he would fair. He might avoid some of the real errors he made, or might not. He might have been able to get by with the faux-errors, or he might not. I don’t think, though, particularly given his history, that his odds would be inferior to an middling-but-unexceptional candidate.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        The problem with it is error or not it was something that his party glommed on to so he couldn’t denounce it.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        He could have. He just didn’t.Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        @will-truman He could have. He just didn’t.

        Perhaps because he earnestly believed it to be true?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I believe he earnestly believed the statement he was trying to make about who would and would not vote for him. (His analysis was empirically and tactically flawed, of course.)Report

      • Avatar trizzlor in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        The problem with it is error or not it was something that his party glommed on to so he couldn’t denounce it.

        That’s the way I see it as well. Romney’s comment isn’t all that different from Obama’s previous comment about southerners clinging to guns and religion. Both were off the record, both were a crude distillation of party mentality (the Paul Ryan looters/moochers budget theories; and “What’s the Matter with Kansas” respectively) and both were alienating to a huge part of the electorate. The difference is that while Obama and the left new to distance themselves from – at least – the tone of that statement immediately; Romney let it hang for days, while the right circled the wagons with editorials on how Romney didn’t go far enough and hamfisted “We are the 47%” web-sites.

        That was Romney’s fundamental problem, he had no idea when to distance himself from his party nor did any Republican really believe him when he embraced it.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        That was Romney’s fundamental problem, he had no idea when to distance himself from his party nor did any Republican really believe him when he embraced it.

        Very well said.Report

  4. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    There’s GOP history here, too. Dems don’t re-consider big-time losers; but Republicans have a history of giving candidates a second look, Nixon and Reagan being precedents.Report

  5. Avatar j r
    Ignored
    says:

    It is hard to have any sympathy for Romney, Tea Party dragging him down or not. He made the decision to run that way instead of as the milquetoast moderate Republican that he really is. This is the same guy who ran an organization that had deluded itself into thinking that it was going to pull of some sort of major upset right up until about the time the polls closed. Maybe he learned a lesson and, if that is the case, he’s got a shot in 2016.

    2012 was one of those funny moments that you get in politics where you have two middle-aged, male, fairly square and slightly corny HLS grads (OK, Romney is more than slightly corny) trying to position themselves as radically polar opposites. We had a similar moment in 2004, when we were supposed to pick between one rich, white Yale Bonesman and the other rich, white Yale Bonesman. Or the fact that the last three Republican presidential nominees all had wealthy, successful fathers and grandfathers who were obviously instrumental in helping them get to where they were and yet you had numerous people calling Obama the affirmative action president.

    Only in politics do you get this sort of willful dumbassery on such epic proportions.Report

  6. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    My knee jerk reaction: I don’t think the GOP is crazy enough to try a Romney do-over.
    On reading the article and musing on it: I don’t think the GOP is sane enough to nominate Romney.
    On further reflection: Even if the GOP moderates could muster enough clout to renominate Romney Hillary will grind him up and spit him out*.

    *This is assuming no Mark Penn. Mark Penn can fish up -anything-.Report

  7. Avatar Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    Romney was wrong about Russia. Russia still isn’t a geopolitical rival.

    A geopolitical rival for what? Control over the Ukraine? Does anybody in the U.S. really care about the Ukraine? Would we even need to do anything in the event Russia really seriously annexed the Ukraine or would the EU just stop buying gas from Gazprom and lead to Putin winding up retired to some hospital somewhere thus showing that things haven’t changed since Khrushchev?

    Russia has, at the moment, a GDP lower than Brazil. The only reason India isn’t kicking their ass six ways to Sunday is that Russia exports about as much oil as the Saudis, and a boatload of natural gas… the lion’s share of which gets consumed by the EU.

    Remember that: Russia is one of the biggest exporters in the world of both oil and gas (and coal!), and it’s… barely cracking the 10th highest GDP list.

    Russia’s nationalism baloney is all internal politics for Putin, I think. And he’s riding a dangerous tiger, since the EU buys all his oil and gas and it is the EU which will be pissed if he takes it too far. We need to do somewhere between “nothing” and “act suitably displeased”, and that’s about it.

    Hell, after South Ossetia in 2008 the response of the international community was… to award Russia the Olympics.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Part of the problem is the media’s tendency to portray the Republican candidate as OH MY FREAKING GOD THIS GUY IS TO THE RIGHT OF THAT GOLDWATER GUY NOBODY REMEMBERS!!!!

    And then, when we’re not in “Republican candidate season”, the media likes to point to moderate Republicans and wonder aloud “why can’t more Republicans be like this guy?”

    Mitt Romney is a downright moderate Republican that, you’d think, most non-Republicans would wish more Republicans were like.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Well there have been some recent candidates that would make Barry G look to the right and go “wha huh?”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, but when you play the “THIS GUY WILL GET OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY KILLED” card, it’s kinda tough to top that.

        Say what you will about Mitt Romney: I don’t think that he was going to do stuff that resulted in the death of all of us.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m on record as saying that the difference between Romney and a second-term Obama was likely to be minimal.

        I stand by that.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Are you still bitter about goldwater losing? At least no modern party would suggest the entire country is doomed or being led by a person who hates the country and is a working from within to topple us.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        No, not at all. I’m merely pointing out that one of the tactics used today is to point out that these guys are all to the right of (and therefore worse than) Goldwater.

        And that the argument used against Goldwater was that he’d kill us all.

        So that the argument is, effectively, “This guy is worse than someone who would have killed us all.”Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        [Republican A] is especially, uniquely, unbelievably awful.

        And the rest are just as bad!Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        If you make jokes about “lobbing one into the men’s room at the Kremlin”, you can’t be too shocked when people think you take nuclear war lightly. Two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis was not a great time to be seen as trigger-happy.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m on record as saying that the difference between Romney and a second-term Obama was likely to be minimal.

        All of his foreign policy advisers were neocons, many of them members of the Bush administration. That’s not a minimal sort of difference.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        All of his foreign policy advisers were neocons, many of them members of the Bush administration. That’s not a minimal sort of difference.

        So we would have bombed Libya and Syria, instead of just Libya?

        Okay.

        Are you suggesting that Romney would not have removed combat troops on the schedule agree to by treaty? Or… what?

        And what army was he going to throw his weight around with?

        Intentions aside, I don’t see U.S. foreign policy being able (logistically) to do much differently between 2012 and two years from now. Maybe in 2016. Probably not. Maaaybe in 2020.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        With a bunch of neo-con hawks in his cabinet would we be negotiating with Iran? We could have had two surges in Afghanistan. We could have gotten back into Iraq a while ago and heavy. There are all sorts of stupid things we could have done.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        And what army was he going to throw his weight around with?

        The United States military, by far the largest in the world, has the capability to bomb, blockade, and even invade just about every country there is. And it’s chock-full of people who can act as “military advisers” (you know how that one goes), not to mention “counter-insurgents”.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Mike is right on this Patrick, methinks. We’d probably be hip deep in fishing Syria and Iran by now.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Patrick,
        I’m far more comfortable with Obama bombing Syria than I ever would have been with McCain. You have GOT to at least TALK to major powers in the area. “Here’s what we think we’re doing, here are our goals. sort of chitchat” — publically Iran’s gonna still squeal, but there’s a difference between “howling for the hometeam” and “going to war with America over a security partner”Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I think you guys grossly overestimate (a) how little pushback the Joint Chiefs would offer at this moment and (b) how little public blowback there would be for another ground war.

        Look, war doesn’t poll well. Winning the Presidency in 2016 would be really important, and the GOP knows it holds the house but it can’t do anything unless it gets the Senate in 2012, and they didn’t. And they weren’t going to.

        There is no freakin’ way a Democratic Senate lets a sitting President send ground troops anywhere between 2012 and 2017. Nuh uh.

        Romney could bomb Syria (but if he’s concerned that Russia is our number one geopolitical rival, that would actually be contraindicated, right?). He could bomb in Iraq, like Obama is doing now. He could support Israel’s current actions in Gaza wholeheartedly (as opposed to the clucking of tongues we have now, neither of which really does anything, now does it?)Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        There is no freakin’ way a Democratic Senate lets a sitting President send ground troops anywhere between 2012 and 2017. Nuh uh.

        And what exactly would they to do to stop him?Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Obama was moderate democrat. he was the kind of dem you would think non-democrats would wish more dems were like. Clinton to and Gore.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Was that how he ran, though? From what I recall, we honestly thought that he was not yet another effing Clinton.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Obama ran on a surge in Afghanistan, getting out of Iraq, not being in favor of stupid wars, ending the tax cuts for the 1%, a health care plan that was basically the ACA without a mandate, and investing in America.

        He didn’t run as this huge liberal. I’m a massive liberal, and I knew this in 2008. I originally supported Edwards (pre-scandal), but was OK with Obama, since I believed he had the easiest path to victory (this was pre economy collapse), since I believed Hillary’s Iraq War vote would trip her up in an election with McCain.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        The policies he pushed were moderate. The “leftiest” thing he campaigned on was HC which every dem was for and polls showed people wanted. His plan was less then what Edwards or Hillary pushed for and certainly not far left of Romcare.

        There is a thing in the media that every Dem is somehow a liberal or pushing for giant leftward jumps. Of course those people don’t get elected in the D’s unless they are from Ben and Jerry Land or to smaller offices, maybe , in Cali.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I guess I remember the vibe a little different.

        Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Part of that vibe was Bush wasn’t popular with his family dog and McCain seemed like more of the same. People hoped for a lot of change, most of which we never got for different reasons. Change though doesn’t mean he was a massive lefty.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        If populist optimism is the sign of a lefty, Ronald Reagan was Norman Thomas.Report

  9. Avatar Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    I have three thoughts about this, each going in very different directions. So I’ll make three comments.

    Am I the only one to notice the sixth-year doldrums thing? Two-term Presidents encounter political fatigue about themselves after six years in office. Whatever mistakes have been made or corners have been cut earlier on, whatever bad plans were made yield up their fruits. Political capital always seems to be at its lowest ebb at or just before the second-term midterm elections. Partisans within the President’s own party begin to try to distinguish themselves from the President so there appears to be more dissension within the ranks than there is (viz., Hillary Clinton’s suggestions about what foreign policy mistakes she thinks have been made since she left office).

    Vietnam forced LBJ to refuse the opportunity to run for a second full term, after almost six years in office.

    Nixon got hit with Watergate in 1974, his sixth year.

    Reagan got hit with Iran-Contra, and his party lost control of the Senate, in 1986, his sixth year.

    Clinton got impeached in 1998, his sixth year.

    Bush II saw Republicans break ranks and turn on the wars and excesses of national security in 2006, his sixth year.

    Obama is in his sixth year in office. He find himself dragged back into war in Iraq, unable to quite wrap things up satisfactorily in Afghanistan as the U.S. puppet President there leaves office in something approaching disgrace, he’s facing a lawsuit by Congress, and Russia looks aggressive although really in the grand scheme of things, would we have been any more likely to have done something about Crimea under President Romney?

    So I don’t think the fact that Obama is not looking politically all that strong right now ought to be a surprise to anyone. But that doesn’t mean Mitt Romney would have had any better answers to the challenges we face now; indeed, I’m inclined to think that the opposite would have been true.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko
      Ignored
      says:

      1: Yeah, six years is usually a weak point. Notably, if Romney were in office, it would only be his second year! Re-elect no one! I’m only half joking. I do sometimes wonder about the Eisenhower-Carter idea of a single six year term instead of two of four.

      2: Not a lack of imagination, but a lack of candidates. It’s notable, though, that it isn’t just Republicans. According to the poll, Romney wins women! But the candidate thing is a problem. And indicative of more than just the lack of a guy (or gal) in a suit.

      3: Depends on the margin of loss. Romney’s loss was too significant. If you can point to a single state* you could have won and make the case that next time you can win it, that’s one thing. Kerry, to me, was just on the bubble of being a credible candidate four years later. Ultimately, though, his margin in Ohio was just a shade too large, and he was not a compelling enough guy to overlook that. Romney lost by several states. The other factor is how well they did compared to expectations. In and of itself, Dewey losing to FDR would have been a bad reason not to run him against Truman. His loss to Truman, though (even if he hadn’t lost to FDR), was.

      * – This was the case on the TV show Scandal. Reston lost by a narrow margin to Grant, and it was entirely credible to me that he would get the nomination again four years later. That was the least incredible part of an incredibly unrealistic TV election.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Mexico uses the single six-year term for its Presidents and that seems to work out for them.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        The Framers’ argument against a single-term for prez was that without the prospect of re-election, the prez had less reason to behave himself. He might decide to grab what he could while the grabbing was good.

        I’m not sure the evidence supports that view, but I enjoy realizing that the Framers’ cynicism matched or even exceeded ours today.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        But offering the opportunity for a second term doesn’t change the decision calculus of a person intent on grabbing while the grabbing’s good. It might insentivize slower paced long term grabbers to run, but it might also incentivize the short term grabber to take his chances on a first term on the possibility that he gets a second run thru the bank vault.Report

  10. Avatar Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    Thought 2: The only thing that Romney-stalgia indicates to me is a profound lack of imagination on the part of Republicans.Report

    • Avatar Patrick in reply to Burt Likko
      Ignored
      says:

      I think this is more of a, “Ummm… Rubio? No, the base will freak out about immigration. So… who… else…”

      Like, really.

      Who else?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        That’s a good question. But it’s not one that takes a whole ton of thought to answer.

        Scott Walker? If he can get himself re-elected!

        Rick Perry With Hipster Glasses? I’m not buying what he’s got on offer, because at least right now it looks too much like the wares on sale last time around.

        I still don’t think Rubio is Ready For Prime Time, although I could be convinced otherwise.

        Ted Cruz has enough ego and is surrounded by enough bubble-encapsulated red-meat-eaters that he may think he has a shot. Same with Sam Brownback, although a revolt within his own party hints at a flaw in that strategy.

        Bobby Jindal is still thinking about it, even if his moment seems to have passed, and Nikki Haley might be starting to think about an off-white neo-Georgian home, although so far I don’t think she’s been up to eat corn dogs at county fairs in Iowa.

        But you know who has been hitting the Corn Dog Circuit hard? Rand Paul. Some inherent problems for him to deal with, but it’ll sure be the acid test of this libertarian moment I keep reading about.

        None of these candidates strike me as being nearly as smart as Romney. Nor as readily-possessed of a cell phone contact list with an aggregate personal net worth in the trillions of dollars. But Romney tried “smart and rich” before and it wasn’t good enough. No reason to think it’ll be good enough to put him over the top a third time around.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        Who else.

        There’s a whole lot of CEO folks out there. Who from the biz world is posturing? Anyone?

        Are there no Herman Cains, Donald Trumps, funny dudes with charts or even a Steve Forbes?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        Burt,
        Rubio is still too busy trying to keep himself out of jail to run this election.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        If there are CEO types looking to throw their hats in, they better start eating some corn dogs pretty soon now.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        But Romney tried “smart and rich” before and it wasn’t good enough.

        That’s because he didn’t really try it. He tried pandering to the tea party in the primary, picking aforementioned Rand Paul, and looking like an entitled dbag the whole time instead of a calm, cool, and collected CEO.

        He tried to run as two guys at once, and neither had enough pull to get him elected especially when the “running as two guys at once” makes you look terribly totally not in any way genuine.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Patrick
        Ignored
        says:

        Today, Jonathan Bernstein had Question Day, so I asked him who else?

        He answered here:
        http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-08-14/question-day-who-is-a-viable-nomineeReport

  11. Avatar Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    Thought 3: You run once, then you’re out.

    Who was the last major party nominee to lose and then get the nomination again the next cycle? Answer: Adlai Stevenson II. Lost worse the second time against Ike than he did the first time.

    Before him, we have to go all the way back to William Jennings Bryan, who was nominated unsuccessfully in 3 elections (1896, 1900, 1908, losing worse each time). “Worse” means got a lower percentage of the popular vote than the previous time the nominee stood for the general election.

    Before that, we get Grover Cleveland, who won, lost, and then won the general election. Before that is functionally meaningless because the parties just plain operated differently before the Progressive reforms of the Gilded Age; Cleveland’s three-times-in-a-row nomination are only of debatable significance.Report

  12. Avatar Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    I see this as the exact opposite: the GOP has about a dozen possible candidates, none of whom lead the pack. The Democrats have one. Who are their rising stars? Who is prominent enough to contest the Democratic nomination, or even be a running mate? Both parties have been negligent over the past nearly 24 years when it comes to developing talent. Right now the Republicans have a batch of almost ready for prime time players, no thanks to Bush, and the Democrats are nurturing Cuomo, Castro, and I can’t think of anyone else. It’s particularly striking in the majorities in the houses of Congress. Who is emerging in the Republican House or the Democratic Senate? Not many.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      Both parties have been negligent over the past nearly 24 years when it comes to developing talent.

      Word.

      There’s one scenario in my head that has Hillary winning the nomination in 2008 (she *DID* get more votes…) and choosing Obama as her veep.

      Obama would, therefore, be running in 2016.

      And who would touch him?Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I think there are two things happening. First of all, the presidents of recent years are more likely to fill their Cabinets with experts in a field rather than rising politicians. I think of Bush 1 with Kemp, Bennett, Quayle, and Alexander. Clinton wanted a Cabinet “that looks like America”, and populated it with people he didn’t work with. He very much had a kitchen cabinet of political advisors. I think that’s the mode we’ve seen since his administration. But even he had a few people he boosted, most prominently Gore. Bush 2 didn’t see his VP as a potential presidential candidate, and I’m not sure what Obama’s thinking is.

        The other thing that’s happened is a loss of the sense of House and Senate expertise. I could be wrong on this, but I see more jockeying for position than I see specialization.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Pinky,
        Clinton liked to get Everyone’s Opinion. That was his style, he’d invite Everyone Possibly Related to the Issue to the white house, and talk to them All. Now, he was a freaking genius, and made up his own mind at the end — and half the time changed it last minute because he had a New Awesome Plan! (geniuses do that. drives the rest of the team up the wall — particularly when you throw out a year’s worth of work).Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “There’s one scenario in my head that has Hillary winning the nomination in 2008 (she *DID* get more votes…) and choosing Obama as her veep.

        Obama would, therefore, be running in 2016.

        I’ve got a couple of problems with this. You’re probably picturing 2008-Obama running in 2016. He wouldn’t be that. He’d have been through 8 years of ridicule as VP. And what kind of VP would he have been? You don’t want one who’s more eloquent than his president, especially if the president isn’t known for charisma. You want a VP to fight the political battles while the president stays above the fray. None of that fits a Clinton/Obama White House. No, Obama or the Obama persona would be very different now in your scenario than he was in 2008.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        First of all, the presidents of recent years are more likely to fill their Cabinets with experts in a field rather than rising politicians.

        Heuckuva job, Brownie.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        “Heckuva job, Brownie.”

        “[Shinseki] put his heart and soul into this thing.” So?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      Right now the Republicans have a batch of almost ready for prime time players

      I’m not really seeing that. I’m seeing mostly second-class nominees that are either uninspiring (Ryan, Walker, Kasich) or have significant obstacles (Christie, Paul, Jeb). The daylight between them and Warren, O’Malley, Patrick, Brown, and so on being not all that great.Report

      • Avatar scott the mediocre in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Over the medium term (say through 2024) I think Sandoval has a lot of potential. He’s only 51, so if he can stay scandal-free one could see a career path of challenging Reid in 2016 then going for Prez in 2020 (if a Dem wins in 2016) or 2024 (otherwise).Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Sandoval’s pro-choice and thus, out of it before he even bounds into the starting gate, @scott-the-mediocre. Also, he’s probably been stopped from doing dumb Republican things by the Nevada legislature.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, to a certain point, the myth there’s always been these great pack of future President’s is kind of a misnomer. Look at modern history. I mean, among both parties, how many super charismatic talented people actually didn’t end up on a national ticket?

      On the DNC side, I can point to Mario Cuomo and Ted Kennedy. Maybe Ann Richards, but she lost an election and was getting older and got cancer. On the GOP side, I honestly can’t think of any super charismatic talented politicians who didn’t at least get a chance

      The truth is, most politicians are boring middle aged to old people. There’s a reason why guys like Obama, Reagan, Clinton, and JFK stood out.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      Tester, Franken, Udall (both of ’em), Warren, Heidi Heitkamp, Feingold.
      ** I may be biased, but the democrats do have a decent wingReport

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        Franken?Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        Patrick,
        https://www.franken.senate.gov/
        Hardest working guy in the senate (or at least one of them).Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        I don’t care if he’s Bob the Builder, from a legislative standpoint.

        You think the guy that played one of the two stoners driving the gorilla around in Trading Places is going to get a Democratic nomination, let alone have a chance at getting enough electoral votes to win the Presidency?

        Maybe if he brokers a peace deal with Syria. Otherwise, gotta say, not seeing it.

        No matter how competent he may be, he wrote “Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot”.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        What are the chances of an actor who played opposite a chimp becoming president? Not saying Franken is a great candidate for prez. Lots of right leaning people agree about Rush being a voluminous decency challenged person though.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        Franken hasn’t even been a senator for a full term yet. Reagan was governor of California for eight years, and already had been a candidate for the nomination.

        I think there’s a little more daylight between them than there is similarity to draw on the “worked with a monkey” bit.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        I don’t disagree Pat. However I don’t’ think Franken’s showbiz history is necessarily a killer for him. O got elected with a weird scary name and a double butt load of sleaze against him. If Franken’s a good candidate for prez otherwise, his career won’t be a no go for him.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        He’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like him (8 point favorable over unfavorable in the latest poll of registered Minnesota voters)Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        Yup tanned, rested and ready. fwiw he was consistently patient and articulate when explaining the ACA to people he talked to at town halls. He was impressive at that.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m also trying to figure how old the average person is, who remembers Franken’s comedy career. And for those who do, how much of a turnon-on/ off it might be.

        I think the standards of decorum for politicians has pretty much been evolving along with basic cultural etiquette; I’m not convinced that even if the opposition ran Trading Places clips 24/7, how much of a negative it might have.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        I was a middle aged; a white, middle-class housewife working a freelance gig as a journalist. My income helped, but we could never have lived on it. I was intensely liberal, and incredibly frustrated with Bush politics and conduct, fervently hoping he’d succeed.

        It was humiliating how liberal comedy in the form of Air America and Franken flopped in the media marketplace.

        I think he might make a fine candidate; you learn more from your mistakes then your successes, and Franken strikes me as able to take in the lesson, able to communicate what he learned to others. Right now, I’m happy to have him being a Senator; fine place to wait out 2016; perhaps get a nod for VP, replace Biden. He’d make an awesome VP.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        @zic, the reason why Air America didn’t work is basically boiled down if you look at when myself, greginak, and yourself argue with folks like North despite the fact our voting patterns are likely to be 90% the same – because Democrat’s and liberals don’t listen well.

        What I mean by this, is basically, conservatism is a top-down organization. I’m not saying that’s bad or evil. Just the truth. Simply put, somebody with conservative leanings is far more liable to be appreciable to somebody talking to them for three hours straight than liberals do.

        This expands to even online discourse. All the big Internet conservative sites are basically, “columnist or blogger states opinion, comments react” with little ability for those commenters to write their own diary. RedState was supposed to the be the conservative answer to DailyKos. Well, look at ’em. They may be somewhat successful in the sense their pushing the same things every other conservative is pushing, but their indepedent diaries barely get a comment or two.

        That’s not even getting into the fact that people who are alone enough during the working day to listen to the radio (you’re not going to blast Rush or Air America at your doctor’s office where you’re a receptionist) are more liable to be white males and as a result, automatically more likely to be conservative.Report

  13. Avatar Tod Kelly
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ll dive in as a minority of one.

    I like the idea of a Romney nomination far more than I like the idea of anyone else I can think of on the GOP side that might conceivably run. And what’s more, I think if the Right was willing to let him run as Mitt Romney, and not some obviously fake and unpopular white male Mormon Bachmann/Cain/Gingrich/Santorum lovechild, he’d have a puncher’s chance of winning.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Tod Kelly
      Ignored
      says:

      But how does Romney reposition himself from the corner he painted himself into during the ’12 election? He can get away with flip-flopping on abortion once in his career. Can’t ever go back on that one again. That’s only the most prominent change from Romney 1.0 (Governor of Massachusetts edition) to Romney 2.1 (major bug fixes from from the 2008 campaign to enhance Tea Party compatibility) and now you’re talking about Romney 3.0?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly
      Ignored
      says:

      To some extent, that’s how Romney chose to run. More than a few liberals swear up and down that that’s because that’s who he really is. I disagree with that, but it’s a problem either way. And even if I’m right, once you’re the guy who is always reinventing yourself, you’ve already burned the authenticity ticket.

      But I remain convinced that it didn’t have to be this way. That he could have run his own way in 2012 and he still would have won the nomination. When he came out of the gate on that first debate and put on a more reasonable – although assertive – face, contra the expectations of many his party rallied around him. His party nominated him, just as they nominated McCain before him, and the Compassionate Conservative before him.

      Since losing, he’s been speaking out more frankly about the party and such. I see the glimmer of the man that I think could have had an enormous impact on the trajectory of the party in a positive way. I’d love for him to use the attention he’s been getting in that light. As a nominee, I’m just not sure how he can do it any differently than he chose to do it both times. The party needs someone who is going to look at the terrain and say “Realistically, this is what needs to happen.”

      Romney has demonstrated pretty clearly that when the chips are down, he’s not that guy. The tragedy of the fall of Chris Christie is that it was looking like he was.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        The other bloke from Utah — Huntsman already grabbed that role.
        May he do well in it.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Huntsman is a good example of what is typically wrong with the people who take that role. I voted for him in the primary, but he is exactly the sort of person that Republicans are not-wrongly suspicious of. More interested in outside approval than of actually advancing any sort of conservative agenda. I wasn’t sure of this at first, but Double Down removed any doubt.

        But! Huntsman, like Romney, could have been that guy. He had the record for it. But, like Romney, he chose not to.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tod Kelly
      Ignored
      says:

      Of course, @tod-kelly, how much of Mitt Romney seeming a moderate technocrat comes from the fact he had to work with a legislature that was filled with 2/3 or more of Massachusetts Democrat’s? I mean, yes, Mitt Romney probably doesn’t care that much about immigration, foreign policy, or even gay marriage, so he let the crazies set his policy.

      But, on economic policy? That was supposed to be his main platform. And he put his arms around a budget proposal that was so right-wing that it’s main proponent has spent the last two years on a media tour to prove that he really cares about poverty (Ryan).

      At a certain point, when Republican’s keep on saying crazy right-wing things, we have to believe they actually stand for crazy right-wing things and try to save them from themselves by saying, “oh sure, they say they believe these things, but they’re really Bob Dole and Gerald Ford in their heart of hearts.”Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Tod Kelly
      Ignored
      says:

      Huckabee’s far more scary to Hillary’s chances than Romney.
      I wouldn’t count the Christian right out, in terms of finding a decent candidate.
      (Santorum: grade C politician, is still a better politician than Romney)Report

  14. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    Please, dear god, no.

    Why to the rich always have to obtain more power. They already have “de women”. Just go spend you money. You’re a tool. You may be smart, but you come across as a tool.

    go
    away

    Same goes for you Hillary.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *