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October 28, 2011

The Great Hope or the Back-Up Plan?

Joe Charlebois

Yes, Mitt Romney is the great hope for the establishment GOP, the mainstream media, and, of course, the political left. He is the least likely of the Republican candidates to disrupt the status quo…


…and his views would be the most consistent with the current steward of the Resolute Desk within the oval walls of the president’s office. For those who don’t like change, this is your man.


Mr. Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, is easily the most well-known of the Republican field of candidates, and there is a sense of comfort he provides for nearly a quarter of polled Republican voters throughout the early days of this campaign. Even with this recognition, he has done little to expand his national support past that 25 – 30% level. This doesn’t bode well for Mr. Romney unless his two most viable competitors – Herman Cain and Rick Perry – self destruct. With that said, Mr. Romney is looking to regain front-runner status in statewide polls in the early caucus and primary states.


Mr. Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who has surged to the lead in most national polls since his straw poll victory in Florida, has captured the attention of the more conservative voter ever since. He is not afraid to push the envelope – which is what endears him to his supporters; but that may also be his undoing as it may push away many in the GOP establishment.


He is not afraid to take stands on subjects that are politically-incorrect-lightning rods. He has introduced an economic plan that has people discussing the possibility of restructuring and replacing our divisive tax code with a conceptually simple tax plan that is fairer in its distribution. It would provide economic fuel to the highly taxed corporate America all the while collecting from corporations that have hidden behind the tax code for decades.


Texas Governor Perry this past week also introduced a flat tax and independent retirement accounts to those who wish to “opt out” of the current system. He has suffered tremendously since his meteoric rise in the national polls due in part to poor performances at the debates and the fact that may suffer from big government syndrome. He has stood behind offering in-state priced tuition for illegal immigrants attending college in Texas. He has also stood behind mandatory vaccinations of young teenage girls with Gardisil, a vaccine to prevent the Human Papilloma virus, or HPV.


Currently Herman Cain is standing tall. Governor Romney trails in the Real Clear Politics Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus average by 5.5 percentage points to Herman Cain (10/12/2011 – 10/25/2011). In New Hampshire – Mr. Romney’s backdoor – he leads Mr. Cain by 22% (10/16/2011 – 10/25/2011). In South Carolina, Mr. Cain leads Mr. Romney by 5.7% (10/11/2011 – 10/25/2011). All of these polls do show Mr. Romney closing on Mr. Cain.


Will Herman Cain continue to hold the appeal of the Republican primary voter? Will Rick Perry find resurgence in his campaign?


For conservatives who have been offered change in the status quo in the form of Herman Cain and Rick Perry, Mr. Romney seems to be just another Bob Dole or John McCain. He would do as a standard bearer but he isn’t their first choice. The conservative base and Tea Party Republicans are not unlike the girl in school who is waiting for the quarterback of the football team to ask her to the homecoming dance. She is waiting and hoping, but she has a backup plan.


Mr. Romney may look the part of the quarterback, but in reality he is the backup plan.


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