Romney may not be perfect, but compared to the rest of the GOP pack, he's pretty outstanding. His closest competitor in the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum, doesn't have a strong background that would suggest he could win the general election. As a two-term senator from Pennsylvania, he failed to secure his reelection bid in 2006. He lost his re-election bid in Pennsylvania by nearly 18%. This was one of the largest GOP incumbent senate seat losses not only in Pennsylvania political history but American political history. Losing a senate seat by a large margin really should not be a motivating factor to run for the presidency. The other contenders unfortunately carry too much political baggage, are incredibly unelectable or too absent minded to be successful in the general election.
Mitt Romney on the other hand has the best shot of any of the candidates at beating Obama come time for the general election. He has had success in his personal life, his business life and has had a decent showing in his political life. He helped run a successful Winter Olympics in 2002 in Utah. Romney may have a stiffness to him, but is that really all that surprising when it comes to politicians?
For some reason people are still not attracted to him. Voters seem to not get that satisfied feeling that candidate Romney is meeting all their needs. Does a candidate really have to fulfill all of your needs? Most people's significant others probably can't fulfill all of their spouses needs, so why do people expect a candidate to do the same?
It was unbelievable to me that I heard at least three different Iowa voters say they would not vote for Romney because he was a Mormon and then they went on talking about why they did not particularly like Mormons. These people who were interviewed on national television stated that being Mormon had an effect on why they didn't vote for Romney. Could you imagine if someone said that about a woman, a Black, Jewish, or Latino person? Somehow bigotry towards Mormons gets a pass in today's political climate. What is wrong with our political reporters in 2012 letting this type of prejudice and bigotry get by without comment? It is really appalling.
As a person who has voted for the Democratic nominee for president my entire adult life the one Republican I would seriously consider voting for in 2012 is Mitt Romney. He seems genuinely qualified to be president as a former governor and successful businessman and he has run before so he knows the territory. He seems as if he would know how to govern from day one if he made it to the Oval Office.
Why in the world are so many Republicans disappointed in him? The goal for Republicans is to win the White House not have a candidate they like for 100% of his or her views. Moral victories do not win the White House. A 100% voting record that appeals to the Tea Party doesn't win the White House. Having supported a health care program while governor of Massachusetts should be applauded and not be seen as a cause to dismiss the former Bay State Governor as not qualified for conservative support.
The Republicans seem to have taken their eyes way off the ball by looking for all this purity to every one of their conservative principles. They need to get over this and keep their goal as being winning the White House.
Newt Gingrich's concession speech was absolutely one of the nastiest losing speeches I have seen in over three decades of covering national politics. He was a spoiled brat who blamed Romney supporting Super PACs for his defeat. Get over it Newt. This is the way politics is in 2012 thanks to recent Supreme Court decisions which are the law of the land.
Newt's uncivil talk after his defeat in Iowa reminded me of the nasty speech then GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan made at the Republican Convention in 1992.
Voters are not looking for grumpy, uncivil, nasty and sore loser candidates for the highest office in the land. They are looking for optimistic problem solvers who once elected will put programs into affect that will help all of our lives.
For Newt and others to compare themselves to Ronald Reagan is a travesty and a mockery to Reagan's legacy. Reagan was a gentleman who always seemed optimistic and came up with the idea of not speaking ill of his fellow GOP candidates.
I am certainly not one to give advice to Republican voters but, hey, get off Romney's back. So he isn't everything you want in a candidate he may be your best and only shot to win the White House this year. Would you rather win the White House with a less than perfect and somewhat flawed candidate or lose the White House with the wonderful candidate who believes in all of your conservative viewpoints?
This post was co-authored by Robert J. Guttman and Dustin Taylor. Robert J. Guttman teaches courses on presidential politics at Johns Hopkins University, Center for Advanced Governmental Studies. Dustin Taylor is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, Center for Advanced Governmental Studies.