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Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

    Goodbye Mitt Romney, R.I.P.

    Willard Mitt Romney, candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, ended his campaign on Thursday, Feb. 7 at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. to the dismay of thousands of conservatives in attendance after saying some days before ‘Super Tuesday’ that he was going to take the race “all the way to the convention.”
    His campaign’s bereavement was confirmed by nearly 6,000 conference-goers who said he was a conservative charlatan.

    Though his conversion from moderatism to conservativism may have been a little moot at best, he possessed a quality that no other Republican nominee had this year: charisma. Whether you agreed with his ideology, he flat out looked like and spoke like a true president.

    In a race where John McCain fumbles with his vocabulary, Mike Huckabee sounds too much like your next-door neighbor’s dad, Rudy Giuliani’s lisp was annoying, Mike Thompson was either too condescending or not smart enough and Ron Paul needs a hearing aid, the handsome and appropriately articulate Mitt Romney nearly matched our idea of how a president should look, act and speak.

    Not only did he have charisma, but he had policies as well. He had no ambiguous positions. He was staunch on immigration: no expressway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He was unwavering on the war on terror: we’d stay in Iraq until we’d won the war. And he was pro-life, anti-gay-marriage and believed wholeheartedly in God: though,   he also believed in Joseph Smith.

    The problem for Republicans is that he was soundly Reagan while people were looking for an Eisenhower. And believe me, Mike Huckabee is not the next Dwight Eisenhower: even if he pilfered the slogan “I like Ike.”

    Until the recent death of the Romney campaign, Romney had won 11 states to McCain’s 12 of the 30 that had held their primaries or caucuses through ‘Super Tuesday.” The states Romney won, however, only accounted for 298 delegates while McCain’s wins in delegate-rich New York and California gave him an unassailable 719 delegates.

    This all but proves conservatives yearn for an Eisenhower.

    Like McCain, Eisenhower had a decorated military career. Ike was a five-star general in the U.S. Army while McCain was a captain of the U.S. Navy. The two even share a medal in common: the Legion of Merit.

    In terms of foreign policy, the McCain doctrine is suspiciously similar to the Eisenhower doctrine. In 1957, Eisenhower said that he would “authorize the armed forces of the United States to secure nations against aggression from any nation controlled by international communism.” Now, substitute “international communism” for “radical Islamic extremism” and, voilá, you have the McCain doctrine.

    The bottom line is that, in this presidential election, Republicans are looking for a Hillary: a policy maker: instead of a Barack: a charisma exuder: or a Romney: an amalgam of both.

    Perhaps that is why Republicans hate Hillary so much. They see in her the kind of person they want on their ticket.
    Romney was a Hillary-hater too. Unlike his Republican foes, however, he understood her policy-making appeal, which is why he practically started the Hillary-bashing phenomena back in the first few debates in the spring of last year.
    Or was it his campaign manager, Beth Meyers, a protégé of Karl Rove who understood the political chess match that is winning a presidential election. Turning Romney into a conservative was a bigger problem than she had anticipated. He had too much going against him and not enough going for him.

    He was the governor of the notoriously liberal state of Massachusetts. During his tenure, a stepping stone to universal healthcare was achieved via “mandates”: a buzzword that is destructive to any conservative’s campaign. Also under his governorship, Massachusetts became the first state in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage: an issue against which conservatives have united themselves.

    Romney tried time and again to convince his conservative constituents that he had converted to anti-same-sex marriage and pro-limited government; it didn’t work.

    He is also devoutly Mormon: a religion that even many non-evangelical conservatives consider to be some sort of cult. For this, the socially conservative Republican base unjustly ostracized him.

    His ‘faith speech’ dampened the evangelical fire and brimstone against him, but it wasn’t enough to convince them that he was one of them. And, poof, there went Iowa to his religious nemesis Mike Huckabee.

    Before long, he would lose the famously independent (and moderate) state of New Hampshire to the famously moderate (but not, by any means, independent) John McCain.

    Before long, his campaign was forced to make a dim projection. The projection before Romney’s not-so-super Tuesday was that even if his delegate count reached the 300-delegate threshold, he’d still have to win nearly all of the ensuing contests to have a chance of preventing McCain from wrapping up the 1,191 delegates needed to win the nomination outright. Unluckily for Romney, the states that remained distributed their delegates proportionally: so not only would he have to win, but he’d have to win by a wide margin at that.

    Regardless of whether Romney is genuine or fake, moderate or conservative, or a good or bad candidate, he is, above all, a good businessman. And without further ado, like a good businessman, Romney ended his campaign and cut his losses.

    We’ll remember you, Mitt.

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