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Interesting article. Carlson is right on in his assessment that Romney's phoniness, and not his religion, ultimately cost him the Republican nomination.

"Carlson thinks Romney is a better choice than Palin for Republicans looking for a leader who will make things happen in 2012."

I have lambasted Romney aplenty on the blogggernacle, but he is clearly the type of candidate the GOP needs to look to. I might not be him though. I think Jindal in LA will be the up and coming star to beat.

I agree that Romney looks pretty good for 2012 - especially if Obama can't control Congress and there is a big backlash. And Romney is no Dole and I can't see Republicans repeating the mistakes of 1995. On the other hand Reid, Pelosi and Obama remember 1994 as well. (As well as what happened to Republicans in 2004-2005) So maybe they'll govern more from the center?

We'll see.

What I'm curious about is what Romney does the next while. Run for Congress or Senate?

Remaining relevant will be the key. What about becoming the Republican Howard Dean?

Jindal, interestingly, is basically a conservative version of Obama.

I'm curious to see if the Republican party will unite behind one or two candidates in the next primary season, which isn't that far away, or whether it will be another fragmented group with Palin playing the part of Huckabee, Lindsey Graham being McCain, Romney being Romney, and then adding Pawlenty and Jindal.

Where would he run from (for another office)? He is no longer viable in Mass, and there does not appear to be any openings elsewhere. He needs to avoind becoming the next John Edwards (no not for those reasons), the candidate the everyone remembers fondly, respects, but is no longer interested in.

"What about becoming the Republican Howard Dean?"

That might be his best option, but it would not be a road to the White House.

I think he should invest a large amount of money into high-profile social welfare projects following conservative principles.

"Next we have an interview with Mitt Romney who will tell you how he is rebuilding New Orleans."

Wealthy Mormon Philanthroper is a whole lot more electable than Wealthy Mormon Businessman.

Dave,

I believe that Tucker has a portrait in his dressing room of his aged, aged, aged grandfather. I report, You decide.

Romney's road to victory: 1) take over an American car company, 2) make it successful. (And he could do it in his home state of Michigan!) Yeah, I know: both are easier said than done.

I like Aluwid's suggestion as well.

You guys gotta understand. Liberals look with glee on taking on Romney. I don't think he will be the Republican savior in 2012. He too went too hard to the right. Success, long term success, is in the middle, not hard left or hard right.

He could do the Reagan approach and get a press or semi-press job and hone his positions. Now that everyone is a pundit that might be harder.

Dan, I think the reason liberals loved taking on Romney was because of the religious issue. The problem is that the religion story has been done now. He's a known factor. So that means the press will be shaped quite a bit differently. In a way the best thing to happen to Romeny was to lose the primaries. There was no way he'd have beaten Obama given the anti-Republican backlash this year. But four years from now?


"Romney's phoniness, and not his religion, ultimately cost him the Republican nomination."

No. Romney lost because McCain won (by a narrow margin) more winner-take-all states.

Dave,

I would love to see Romney as Secretary of the Treasury. (fingers crossed)

Clark,

Don't you think the economic down-turn may have positioned Romney for a tight run against Obama?

The problem is that the religion story has been done now. He's a known factor.

Yeah, but that go-around the national media didn't have Prop 8 to work with. (And I say that as a Prop 8 supporter.)

Romney's toast in 2012.

What's sad is that if Palin hadn't been thrust into the limelight now--if she'd had another four years for her positions to mature--she might have been a viable 2012 candidate.

Jack, on economic issues Romney certainly would have been better than McCain. But then McCain's "let's try a different maverick plan every other day" was flailing so badly almost anyone would have been better. I mean McCain was truly embarrassing.

In an odd way McCain was actually setup for the economic collapse. He was warning about Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae years earlier. Obama had advisors and supporters in the mess. But McCain was politically incompentent in the early days and let Democrats frame the issue.

Would Romney have been more competent to handle the issue? Yes. But did he have the background to draw on? I don't know. I don't know what he said about financial markets a few years back. Anyone else know? Given how inept Romney was in controlling the discourse though I'm not sure he was politically skillful enough to handle things. I think he's learned a lot from this. Hopefully he'll let the dust settle and do better.

Romney's huge albatross is that he came off as an opportunist without sincere passions. Now had he been expressing passion about the economy I'd give you the issue. But he hasn't. What Romney needs do over the next three years is learn passion and learn how to be relaxed enough so as to let his authentic self come through. Right now no one really feels like he is authentic.


Jim, had Palin stayed in Alaska I'm not sure she's have become any more well versed on national or foreign policy issues. As I said her problem was ignorance not intelligence. The big question is whether she's been labeled by the press in such a way that she could never come back. I don't know but I think it wrong to count her out. That said she still has some big negatives due to her fairly extreme social conservative positions that surprisingly didn't get as much play as I'd have expected. (Perhaps because the ignorance issue droned them out)

Regarding Prop-8 I think it's too early to see how the lasting damage goes. If (as I suspect) Prop-8 is voted down then this will be a wedge issue to get conservatives excited. And that will help Romney. If it passes then that may cause resentment and hurt Romney.

"Jim, had Palin stayed in Alaska I'm not sure she's have become any more well versed on national or foreign policy issues. As I said her problem was ignorance not intelligence."

You sort of contradict yourself. You can overcome ignorance, not lack of intelligence. It seems apparent that she didn't really believe she was going to be picked as VP, thus she didn't prepare for it. Give her the same amount of time to prepare to campaign as Obama had, and she could come around. She improved dramatically in recent days with interviews, etc. Nobody heard about them because there were no gaffes like before.

"The big question is whether she's been labeled by the press in such a way that she could never come back."

Reagan was labeled early on. The press can forgive if you allow them to.

The key is all about having a narrative. Clark is right that Romney failed to control the discourse thus he had no narrative. Seriously, what issues was he running on? Now, if the economy is hurting as bad 2-3 years from now, Romney has his narrative. He's the fix-it guy, especially on economic-related issues. It will be a very strong message to deliver.

But I could see a strong possibility that we have a 3rd candidate running in four years if our current situation doesn't improve.

I don't see where I'm contradicting myself. Certainly she can become better educated. I just don't think she'd have understood the pressure had she run without being thrust into the spotlight. Put an other way I think she'd have faded fast as people investigated her.

While Obama wasn't as well educated a year ago as now, he was never that ignorant the way Palin was. So it's really not analogous.

I can't see a 3rd party candidate ever doing as well as Perot again. Not unless there is serious reform in how votes are done. (Something like instant runoff election counting, for instance)

It's very unlikely that by 2012 the economy will be poor. One odd thing in America is the idea we can control the economic cycle such as there should never be contractions. It's a natural part of the business cycle. By 2012, barring some horrible disasters, the economy will be strong.


Watch the Romney stock rise.

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