Bickering Children Coalesce in the End
During the course of the past several months there has been vast dissertation from the media and local politicos concerning the candidates in the Republican presidential primary. Today, I pile on with opinion, too.
I'm a hard core Republican voter – a former officer of the Maryland Republican Party, past county chairman and a host of other GOP credentials are within my resume. Although I have crossed the line and voted for a scant few Democrats in my history, typically, I'm a team player.
Primaries are good for the GOP and we should embrace them. In a perfect world, they serve the purpose of allowing party members to separate the chaff from the grain. Primaries are inter-party battles to figure out everything possible about a candidate from debate prowess, personality, political philosophy to organizational and fundraising skills – try-outs before the big show.
In races where there is an incumbent, primaries keep them sharp, force them to be participatory and aware that their job is not a gift but one to be earned. From a political standpoint, there are times where a primary race might be a determent to a party, but the current presidential race is not one.
To date former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has hit all the marks. Winning open primaries, closed primaries and caucuses. He has won across various parts of the United States and not just regionally. The Romney campaign is active and organized in all 50 states plus the territories. He has totally kicked all GOP opponents’ butts in fundraising and conventional wisdom has this race as his to lose.
Yet, there is media-hyped consternation in the ranks of the GOP. Everyone within the GOP knows there is an "anyone-but-Romney" movement; however, I contend that that movement is proportionally small in the grand scheme of overall party registration. Traditionally, primary voters are the hardcore opinionated voter (like me) and rarely amount to even one third of the total voter pool. So, primary votes compared to General Election votes are not necessarily reflective of the overall psyche.
Many times I have tried to explain to my activist friends that we GOP zealots have our faces pressed up against the glass. We play the political inside baseball game that few others even care to think about. Out in the "world," politics is measured by the price we pay at the pump and what's on the dinner table... it's just that simple.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is working hard and catching up. If he had organization and a platform other than being the "anti-Romney," he would be formidable. Former Speaker of The House of Representatives Newt Gingrich remains the smartest man in the room – except when it comes to his own campaign. He needs to step away from his ego and quit. Texas Congressman Ron Paul's numbers have been weaker than anyone expected. He is floundering in single digits and needs to retire from the presidential campaign life.
There is no animosity on my part with the anti-Romney crowd. They make the Romney-world people work hard, pay attention and fight for every win. They activate and educate those who would otherwise not participate in the campaign process – and that is good for all campaigns. Regardless of who the nominee is, the GOP will congeal to defeat President Barack Obama.
It's the mainstream media, by in large, who are Obama supporters. They constantly work to slant every article to make the GOP candidates look like a bunch of bickering children. Over this seemingly long primary season, they have made whoever is the frontrunner of the day look as foolish and inept as possible... because that is their job.
Frankly I'm glad we have had a rather long primary season. I picked my candidate early (Mitt Romney) and have not lost confidence. The vetting of candidates and the honing of skills has strengthened all those who remain in the race. It has caused debate and thought within the GOP which will prove useful as we head to the General Election.
However, I am ready for it to end. Inter-squad matches need to soon conclude so the GOP can spend time as a unit exposing President Obama's shortcomings – hopefully leading to his defeat in November. My fear is not a united effort by GOP partisans; it is the time, effort and money which will be needed to defeat a sitting president.
In three short weeks Maryland will hold its primary election. We are 32nd out of 54. I doubt there will be any conclusion by April 3. Perhaps the race will remain the same with Governor Romney leading big in the delegate count. Perhaps Senator Santorum will close the gap...who knows.
One thing I do know is... when President Obama took office, gas was $1.78 per gallon and I was eating better. Enough said.