Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, oh my!

With all the talk about California having little input on the presidential primary race, with the nominee almost always being decided before our primary comes due, I am glad about one thing; we are not first. Can you image living in Iowa for the past few months? One can hardly imagine the amount of direct mail campaign flyers you must have received by now. If everyone in Iowa saved them, and put them in a pile to burn, you could probably see the fire from space. How about the radio and television political ads? I would imagine the sales of iPods and subscriptions to Netflix have doubled in Hawkeye state just to avoid broadcast radio and television until after the caucuses January 3.

Mitt Romney is a liberal Massachusetts politician with a dangerous religion. Newt Gingrich is a liberal Washington lobbyist with three wives. Ron Paul is a crazy old coot, emphasis on the crazy part. Rick Santorum is Tim Tebow without the athletic ability, etc.

I am paraphrasing these adds, but I'm sure that these are the messages that are getting out to the voters. As with all politics, we cannot overlook the fact that a good number of people do not pay that much attention to the candidates, and just vote based on what they hear at the coffee shop, at work, or at home. Which maybe why Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for President in 2012.

Before you go sending me emails about Romnecare, and all the other conservative sins Mitt has committed in the past, I will just tell you this. He is a known quantity. Unlike the numerous "Soup of the day" candidates whose meteoric ascendency to the top of the polls have all been followed with a free fall crash, Mitt Romney has never been everyone's darling. Mitt is pure vanilla. Scratch that, if there is an unflavored ice cream flavor, it should be named after the former Massachusetts governor.

Mitt is about as exciting as finding three, one dollar bills in your coat pocket; sure its nice, but it's only three bucks. Herman Cain and Rick Perry were like finding a two hundred dollar bill in your coat pocket, only to realize that we don't print two hundred dollar bills, and that they are probably worthless. I think the Gingrich campaign will suffer a death by a thousand cuts. He has said way too many outrageous things, taken money from some questionable sources, especially from a conservative's point of view, and frankly the three marriages do say something about his character. 

Just for full disclosure, I voted for Mitt Romney in the 2008 primary here in California. Not that I was enthusiastic supporter, I just could not vote for "the maverick" John McCain. To be sure, there are plenty of things that make me squirm a bit about Romney. Sometimes, when I hear him talk, I have flashbacks of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the wish-washy, global warming, ever-increasing government, brand of Republicanism that I have grown to loathe.

The one thing I would bet on is there will be no female co-worker from Mitt's past, coming forward to claim an affair, or that he was busted for cocaine possession in the nineties. He is a clean cut all-American guy, looking to do good. Maybe that, along with his religion, is why the left hates him so. He is not my ideal candidate, but he is a proven quantity. There are no surprises with Mitt.

He is the nice, average looking girl you know will say yes when you ask her to go to the prom, after all the popular, semi-trashy ones shoot you down. You know you will not get past first base, but you will have a good time at the dance, get some nice photos for your mom, and not pick up an STD. (How's that for a ringing endorsement?)

Now, Mitt can give a good stump speech, and he knows how to wind up a conservative crowd, but I know deep down that he will play ball when he gets to Washington. He knows he will have cut a few deals, sign bills he opposes, and water down ones he likes, to get anything through the Democrats in the senate. I know this full well, and that gives me a leg up on the people who voted for Barack Obama last time around. They actually thought that he was going to change the nation, change the world, and make their lives better. I have no such illusions. I am just looking for someone who will do the least amount of harm.

Would I like to have another choice? Sure. The candidate that I most closely agree with, in terms of policy, is Rick Santorum. Will he have a chance to be the anti-Romney choice coming out of Iowa? I think he might. He may grab a surprise third place finish in Iowa, stay alive past New Hampshire, where his pro-life stance will hurt him, and make it onto South Carolina where he may catch a second wind. It's a long way to the nomination, I just think slow and steady wins the race, and the epitome of slow and steady is Mitt Romney.

So we only have a few more days until the Iowa Caucuses, much to the relief of Iowans.  Who will come out the winner, who will drop out, will anyone care? Stay tuned.

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