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Mitt Romney: Does He Pass the Test?

So, Mitt Romney announced today that he is exploring. Seriously, I understand how the process works, but c’mon, either announce or don’t. At least seem committed to a win. (Note to future candidates: Just Go all In, show a little guts). In fact, it’s almost embarrassing to wait this long and only “sorta” jump in. Would Sarah Palin form an exploratory committee? I’m guessing she’s an in it to win it kinda person, but that’s just me.

In my recent series on Sarah Palin, I discussed (roughly) the traits the GOP candidate must have to beat Barack Obama. As candidates announce (or, “sorta” announce) I will explore 5 big areas and give a rating.

1) Be Conservative, Believably: Rating 15/20 – Let’s be honest, Romney will say most of the right things. Now. The problem is conservatives do not trust him. He signed a monstrosity (and failure) of a bill that was the blueprint of Obamacare. And Romney still defends it today. His argument that “it was okay because it was done on the state-level” is ridiculous because the problem isn’t that he is too much of a federalist. The problem is the legislation was a far-left liberal’s wet dream. When you defend your bill, you defend those political principles that government knows better in your healthcare. In 1992 he voted in the Democratic Presidential primaries and voted for left-winger Paul Tsongas, and probably Bill Clinton in the general (speculation). He didn’t become a Republican until running against Ted Kennedy for the Senate in 1994. In his run for Governor he positioned himself as a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-stem cell research liberal Republican. Was it political opportunism? You decide. Needless to say, most social conservatives do not buy his policy transformations given that they only happened when he wasn’t going to run for another term as Massachusetts Governor. On the upside to say, Donald Trump, at least his policy transformations are several years old instead of just several days. So, that’s a plus. He hasn’t changed his mind in awhile.

2) Raise $750 Million: 16/20 He could probably raise the second most money of the field, but again his big problem will be getting the cash from tea party conservatives, who make up the largest percentage of the Republican Party. His big appeal lies in the Michigan, Nevada, Utah range and almost completely eliminates the south. I’m guessing he could raise $500 Million, or half what Obama will raise. That would be $150 Million more than McCain in 2008. Is it enough?

3) Pack Crowds: 12/20 he is going to need to pack more than The Pancake Pantry to win an election. We are talking stadiums, people. Again, pancake pantries are going to be his cup of tea in the entire south. The winning candidates needs to at least be able to fill a high school gym. I only have seen one Republican ever who can bring in crowds of 20,000 people (and no, it wasn’t because McCain was there). Another one of his problems is he is underwater in most favorable polls, often by double-digits. This is not good for a relatively uncontroversial, moderate candidate who hasn’t been butchered daily by the press (yet).

4) Speak/Debate/Compel: 14/20 He has a reputation of being a stuffed shirt. Stonefaced. Stiff. Ken-like. Tells you what you want to hear (a.k.a. say anything). He’s like the Al Gore of the right, without the personality. I remember the forced, awkward chants in 2008, here he’d yell out some cliche and wait for the crowd to yell it back. Aye-yay-yaye.

5) Have Guts 5/20: Romney has been absent on most of the big debates. If not absent, he has been late to the game, waiting for the dust to settle before making any announcement. He hasn’t led the charge on any issue. He’s embarrassed to attack Obamacare knowing the questions that will be shot in his direction regarding Romneycare (and oh those contortions on responding!). His statements have been generic and emotionless (unfortunately like his reputation). He isn’t much of an attacker like say a Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Allen West, or Herman Cain.

Total 62/100. Am I being too harsh, not harsh enough? Will he be able to up these numbers?

Categories: General

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