Now that Herman Cain is completely out of the picture, the world knows it is a two man race. Perry comes off like Yosemite Sam. He’s the “rootin’est tootin’est hombre” from Texas alright. Still, I have never seen him own a truly “Presidential moment”. Bachmann was never too impressive (courageous as the undertaking is) and whined so much after the “Rootsgate” incident that I lost a lot of respect for her.
So that leaves us with Romney and Gingrich. That’s not exactly a snoozefest, but it isn’t a barn burner either. The issue here is not so much who will win the republican ticket. Its about who blows it first! Who will say something that can be seen as ignorant, racist or homophobic? They are both driving their campaigns like freight trains, headed straight into one another. Its like political chicken. Who do you think will move out of the way first?
That depends. Newt Gingrich is the Tupac Shakur of the Republican Party. He is smart, fearless, dedicated to his cause, has more friends than you think and will go out of his way to hurt your feelings to win. He can also be reckless in his speech which gives Romney a shot.
Gingrich has recently been quoted saying things that seem to criminalize the poor:
“Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,” Gingrich claimed.“They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal,” he added.
Newt Gingrich has a long history of saying things that anger and rile up all kinds of people. He speaks in ways that compels everybody to take notice. Today on CNN former President Bill Clinton said that he predicted Newt’s comeback in the polls and added how “resilient” he is.
Mitt Romney always looks like he should be doing better than he is doing. He is dangerous mainly because he got a long history in politics. He knows the terrain well. Romney is well connected. But he talks like your old uncle at the Christmas dinner who has never seen an ipad.
He’s got the entire package of the standard republican: Old, rich, White male.
The truth is, once you scratch beyond that he’s simply not that interesting. Its hard to find a statement from Romney that makes you upset. Even things that might easily rile you up if other people were saying them, just make you shrug your shoulders when Romney is on the mic. If you sprinkle his shameless flip-flops on positions from abortion to healthcare, you can see why the Romney camp is worried about Newt.
In 2006, Romney signed a Massachusetts healthcare law that looked a lot like Obama’s federal plan in 2010. When asked what he thought about Obama’s healthcare plan he said “Obamacare is bad news.” This hurt Romney immensely. It was clear he was hating on the person (Obama) and not the plan.
I believe Romney much less likely to say something wrong though. Romney is much more likely to get busted doing something wrong. Recently the Daily Beast said that Nancy Pelosi is investigating reports of Romney improperly dumping records of his Governorship in 2008.
The only thing worse than his flip-flops are his faith. It’s that he’s Mormon and nobody likes that idea inside the party. No matter how we might talk about freedom of religion in this country, serious Christian conservatives have deep reservations about electing Romney because he is a Mormon. That’s an unfortunate American reality.
If I were a betting man, I’d bet Gingrich is more likely to say something that ruins his own election. Romney on the other hand as ripe as he may be for the republican ticket is not memorable enough to matter. There is just not enough fire in his belly. This could force him to go on the offensive to get Newt. Without the charisma and ability to be spontaneous, he could blow it overextending himself in a public forum.
Newt’s fearlessness in speech could easily wilt Romney in the spotlight. He could also make Obama look soft and unprepared. Gingrich has to play hard enough to attract the Tea Party, but not cross the line and alienate the real Republican base. If he does that, he can be a big problem for Romney and eventually Obama. Gingrich’s weakness in public speaking that he is more convincing as a one liner guy. In an open debate, he could embarrass himself to irrevocable levels. Not because he’s not unintelligent. Simply the more you listen to Newt, the harder he is to like- let alone believe.
In this game of political chicken, I’m betting Romney fails first. Either by blundering with an overextended attack, or putting the masses to sleep with boredom. Which of these candidates do you think will win and why? Can either of them beat Obama? Post your thoughts below.