The Prof is ginned up on politics and ready to roll over the next year and a half!
Now that things are heating up, it is time to begin outlining my initial 2.5 cents on the presidential candidates vying to take on President Obama 16 months hence. My next several posts will focus on each of the major candidates running for the Republican nomination. First up - Willard "Mitt" Romney.
Mitt Romney - the former Massachusetts Governor continues to lead most early polls due to name recognition. It must be said that he has been spending the past three years of the "invisible primary" raising money, building an organization, and trying to secure support among key Republican constituencies. All of this is essential to running a legitimate national campaign.
Additionally, it is traditional among Republicans to nominate candidates when it is "their turn"; in fact in recent history the only Republican outsider to secure the party nomination was Barry Goldwater in 1964. However, recent polling suggests a lack of enthusiasm for him with many Republican voters wishing there was another candidate in the race. Could his support be a mile wide, but an inch deep...
Romney will have a target on his back as long as he is the perceived front runner. Expect a lot of fire directed toward him in upcoming debates.
Pros: General weakness of other Republican candidates, fairly well spoken, squeaky clean personal life and image, rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics, raising a lot of $$, field organization, experience from running in 2008, establishment candidate who is "next in line", not a rhetorical bomb thrower, has a house and is known in critical NH, relatively moderate stances...and yes, looks like a president!
Cons: Flip-flops on key issues, Romneycare in Massachusetts (really hurts him among core Republican primary voters), relatively dull style, big business background may not play well among small government tea partiers, socially moderate positions won't play well in Iowa and in the South, Mormonism may hurt in the South as well.
Odds for the nomination: At this early stage he is best positioned among the Republican candidates to win a grueling year-long campaign and primary battle...but time may show that he has feet of clay. He acquitted himself well in this month's debate in first in the nation primary New Hampshire. My initial take is that he is going to try to run a competent and gaffe-free campaign and simply outlast his opponents.
Next up - Michele Bachman...