Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Thoughts on Mitt Romney and the Republican Race Going Forward
Last Friday morning, former Governor of Massachusetts, 2008 GOP Presidential Primary runner-up, and 2012 GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney stunned the political world by announcing that he would not be throwing his hat into the 2016 ring. The nomination had seemed his for the taking, what with his rocketing to the top of the pack upon his initial expressment of interest in the race, leading his closest opponent, Dr. Ben Carson, 2:1(20%-10%) in national polling. His folding, like his non-entrance before it, seriously shakes up an already stirred GOP field.
At this time, there is no clear front-runner in what looks to be even more of a clown-car fight than most see 2012 as being(it wasn't, but whatever). Former Florida Governor and political dynast Jeb Bush leads in Primary polling, but his lead is tepid, holding at 16%, less than Romney's 20% a few weeks ago and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's 25% in late 2013. Bringing up the rear are Christie and former Arkansas Governor, 2008 GOP Presidential Primary contender, and television and radio talk show host Mike Huckabee, plus such Conservative flash candidacies as Carson, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. This is the kind of weaksauce opposition Romney would have utterly obliterated on his way to the nomination, which leads this author to believe that there is something more to his decision to fold than just exhaustion and family concerns after a full decade of campaigning. The tenor of his announcement made it clear that he wants anybody but Jeb Bush to be the nominee, but who of the niche, uninspired field is there to stop him? Based on social networking posts made in the past few days, there can only be one man on Romney's mind who he would have taking the extraordinary step of deferring to in the hope of beating Bush...
Donald John Trump, Senior--Billionaire Real Estate tycoon, Chairman and namesake of Trump Enterprises, and perhaps the GOP's saviour in 2016?
Donald Trump is one of the most visible and revered men in business, in America, and in the world, which puts him in a unique position apart from any other prospective GOP candidate(especially more than, say, Jeb Bush). His is a name and brand that is regarded as embodying the very best of the American way. Donald Trump, as a man of business, has seen the world as few others have, and his positions and concerns about America are informed accordingly. His business trips to China have given him a unique perspective on not only the Communism-based Chinese economy, but also on matters pertaining to how the Chinese treat the workers who are only barely keeping their unsustainable economic train from de-railing. His dealings with foreign leaders on matters of business gives him insight into various free trade agreements and the positives and negatives that entail them. He has been very vocal about our pressing need to stamp out the scourge that is ISIS, al-Qaeda, and China. His leadership of one of the world's biggest and most recognized chains of resorts and casinos makes him more than qualified to be President, which is more than can be said for many of the candidates who comprise the present 2016 field. Also, having brought many children into this world, Trump knows the value and importance of protecting every human life from Liberal and Libertarian encroachments in the shape of a coat hanger.
Mr. Trump has made many previous noises about running for President, most notably in 1988, 2000, and 2012. However, every indication I have gotten from closely watching him this time around tells me that he is very serious in pursuing a bid. He has been going to key Primary states and giving speeches to packed venues and to riotous applause and acclamation. He has sat down with local and national television, radio, and print news stations for interviews pertaining to his views on key policy issues of the day, and in doing so becoming a lightning rod for controversy due to his characteristic, but needed, bluntness. The icing on the cake was a tweet he posted just after Romney folded: “Now that Mitt is gone, all we have to do is get Bush to drop out and Trump to run." Hmmmmm...
Trump has the visibility and the resources to clear the field of most comers, but one doesn't even need to use either of those as barometers of his ability to clear the field once he jumps in. Just look at the weak, flash-in-the-pan nature of all the other candidates considering a run. John McCain, even in his worst moments, could consistently put up better GOP Primary numbers than Jeb Bush can in his best moments. Chris Christie's too scandal tarred to be seriously considered as a nominee. Mike Huckabee wrote the foreword for Todd Akin's book, and, if nominated, would be just one foot-in-mouth moment away from political oblivion for both himself and his beloved party, not to mention that his having pardoned people who went on to kill police officers will take a none too small bite out of him(then again, who would notice if it did?). Marco Rubio's going nowhere--he's essentially just loitering on the 2016 scene. Everyone else is over-hyped, base Conservative wet dreams which will never happen in one million years. There's nobody who really inspires, or is even particularly inspired about running. When Trump inevitably takes the plunge, the likes of Bush, Ben Carson, Christie, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rubio, and Scott Walker will soon be out of the race(their predictable protestations to the contrary notwithstanding--they may last a debate or, if they're masochistic enough, two before sulking off in total humiliation) and solidly in Trump's corner. Oh yeah, Huckabee and Paul might linger for a while. They'll always appeal to their niche audiences. Combined, they probably won't even get double digits in any Primary or Caucus against The Donald. In short, Trump's the only man who can unify both the establishment and the grassroots in their efforts to win back the White House. His General Election prospects will be discussed in a later posting.
So that's pretty much where things stand as of February 4, 2015, and given Trump's time proven brand-durability and his uniquely positive standing with the citizens of America and the world, such is not likely to change at any point between now and when the GOP Primary process is wrapped up in Spring, 2016. The only real contest regards who he will pick as his VP, which I will also detail in a later posting. The Democratic nominee(I don't care what ANYBODY says, it will not be Hillary Clinton. It remains to be seen if she even bothers with an almost certainly futile bid) is sure to be a nervous shambles as he prepares to go headlong into the buzzsaw known to one and all as 'The Donald.'