Friday, January 23, 2015

Romney's Uphill Climb

22 months before the next Presidential election and the Republican field is beginning to congeal, largely due to Jeb Bush's having made clear that he intends to run--which forced Mitt Romney out of hiding.  Marco Rubio may follow soon (though I think he would be well-served to sit this one out), and the rest will begin to throw their hats in accordingly.  Huckabee is sorta in, and there is no real mystery about Christie or Rand Paul.

But this piece is about Mitt, who you may remember that I am already on record as supporting.  The difference between my support this time and my support in 2016 is pretty straightforward.  Then, I looked around in the Spring of 2011 and determined that Mitt would almost certainly be the nominee, and so I climbed onboard early.  It was easy to make that determination, as no one appeared to me to have a prayer of beating him.  I was not then completely familiar with his policies or his record--I simply wanted to ride a winner.

As time went on and I worked harder and harder to elect him, I came to respect and admire the man, and my support turned from largely that of a man who wanted a Republican to win the election to a man who really wanted THAT Republican to win.

This time, there is no process of "getting to know" Mitt for me.  I know all I need to know, and I like what I know.  So with a crowded field of very qualified folks building, my choice this year is as simple as it was in 2011.

This year, I don't have a clue who the nominee is going to be.  There are several folks who could break through...Bush, Romney, Walker, Kasich....among others.  Mitt's chances are significantly lower than they were in 2012--better than 2008, but worse than 2012.  The conservative media have already begun lining up against Mitt's candidacy, and it seems that at least from this report, some of the major donors are shying away too.

Clearly, it isn't 2012 anymore.

But you know what?  I don't care.  I think the tougher field and the lack of a clear favorite is good for Mitt's campaign.  Let's face it, he always did better in 2012 when someone was poking him; he rose to the challenge each time and beat them back.  Lack of money will be an issue, but it will be an issue for ALL of them.  And let us not forget, Mitt has a little bit of his own to fall back on.

So while Mitt's road in 2012 was bloody toward the end as Santorum emerged as a dogged alternative, the REAL struggle in 2016 will be at the beginning.

And I like Mitt's chances.

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